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29 Jun 2022

UPDATE: HSE refute claim that podiatry services have been removed from Ballyshannon

Call for the service to be reinstated in Ballyshannon immediately

Podiatry PIXABAY

Removal of podiatry services a bad decision for south Donegal

Please see below the original story, followed by the HSE response

Podiatry patients in the wider Ballyshannon and Bundoran hinterland must now travel to Sligo to avail of this much needed service. 

Furthermore, the decision to close the clinic was taken without patients being informed.

That is according to Cllr Michael McMahon (SF) who voiced his anger and concern at the May meeting of the Municipal District (MD) of Donegal.

He said: “The HSE removed the podiatry service from the Bayview practice in Ballyshannon. They never signed off and they never told patients. 

“The clinic was taking in people from Rossnowlagh, Ballintra, Cavangarden, Kinlough.

“You had some people who were waiting on appointments and they weren’t even told that the clinic had closed.”

The podiatrist has been relocated to a clinic at Ballytivnan in Sligo.

Cllr McMahon said: “All the people who used the service now have to go to Sligo. A lot of them don’t drive and don’t have transport. They need to try and get someone to take them, and with the cost of fuel and parking and the time to go to Sligo, it is a lot to have to ask someone. 

“There is space in the Bayview practice for this and they are asking old people and people with medical conditions and poor mobility to travel to Sligo.

“I want to be very clear on this - it is the wrong decision. 

“The whole thing has been very badly handled and there is only one solution.

“I am asking for it to be rescinded and to bring the podiatry service back to Ballyshannon.”

HSE Response:

The HSE would like to confirm that primary care podiatry services have not closed in the Ballyshannon Primary Care centre.

Podiatry Services in Ballyshannon Primary Care Centre, Ballyshannon Health Campus continues to operate two days per week and will return to a five day service on Monday 4th July 2022, when a new senior podiatrist commences employment.

As part of the HSE reconfiguration to Community Healthcare Networks the Ballyshannon/ Bundoran geographical area realigned with the Sligo, Leitrim and West Cavan network on 4th April 2022. It was agreed that the Network Podiatry service would continue to be provided in the Primary Care Centre, Ballyshannon Health Campus for all patients who are non-diabetic. All non diabetic patients have been informed about the realignment and provided with up to date contact details.

As part of the local delivery of the HSE’s Integrated Prevention and Management of Chronic Disease programme, a Podiatry Foot Protection Team has recently been employed. Three Foot protection Podiatrists who specialise in Diabetes are based at the Benbulbin Chronic Disease hub on the Clarion Road, Co. Sligo offer patients a holistic team approach and provide support to the GP. The building is purpose built with ease of access and free parking. The aim is to care for people in the community by facilitating access to diagnostic, community specialist teams (including podiatrists), pulmonary and cardiac rehabilitation and diabetes prevention and self-management education services. The foot protection team manages those who are at moderate and high risk of diabetic foot ulceration including those who had prior diabetic foot ulceration. The management of the diabetic foot requires a collaborative and multidisciplinary approach, which the team aims to deliver at The Benbulbin Chronic Disease Hub.

All patients with Diabetes who previously attended the clinic at Ballyshannon Primary Care centre, are been written to, informing them of the changes to the diabetes service, the information regarding their appointment in The Benbulbin, Chronic Disease hub with their appointment letter. All of these people have been prioritised for appointments at The Benbulbin Chronic Disease Hub on the Clarion Road in Sligo.

Outreach clinics are being provided by the Diabetes Podiatry Team in Ballinamore, Ballymote and Enniscrone, to ensure ease of access for all service users. An outreach clinic in Ballyshannon Primary Care Centre has also been considered with management ensuring that patients with diabetes would receive the same podiatry care as that provided in the Benbulbin Chronic Disease hub under the same Infection Prevention Control standards. There will be a service one day a week for patients with diabetes in Ballyshannon Primary Care Centre commencing on Monday 20th June. Those patients who are deemed complex or require a MDT review will be asked to travel to Sligo for an MDT review.

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