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Letterkenny working to restore an Emergency Department Service as soon as possible

Letterkenny General Hospital is working to restore an emergency medicine service at the hospital as soon as it is safe to do so.
Sean Murphy, Hospital Manager commented, “Patient safety and welfare is our paramount concern and we have been working round the clock to ensure that we continue to provide the maximum safe level of service and to minimise the disruption to all of our patients.
“Currently the hospital cannot provide an emergency medicine service nor undertake a range of other surgeries and treatments due to the lack of diagnostic radiological capability (for example, x-rays and scans) due to water damage.
“As a priority we are working on re-establishing some diagnostic radiological capability using mobile equipment and on setting up a temporary Emergency Department at the hospital. In the interim, emergency admissions continue to be diverted to Altnagelvin Hospital and Sligo Regional Hospital and. Protocols are in place for diverting emergency admissions to Altnagelvin and Sligo Hospitals in order to ensure that this is done in a safe manner and does not overload either of these hospitals. Our clinical team here liaise with both hospitals twice daily and we are extremely appreciative of their support.”
Almost two thirds of the Outpatient clinics continue to be provided onsite or in community facilities. There are contingency arrangements in place for a number of services and these are as follows:

  • Elective inpatient and day case surgery planned for this week will be rescheduled at the earliest opportunity and patients will be contacted directly by the hospital;
  • Orthopaedic fracture clinics have been relocated to Donegal Community Hospital;
  • Some outpatient clinics are being relocated to the NoWDOC Centre in Oldtown, Letterkenny;
  • Some surgery has been relocated to Galway University Hospitals and is being undertaken by Letterkenny Hospital clinical staff; and
  • A limited Endoscopy service will recommence from Wed 31 July, however some appointments due to take place this week will need to be rescheduled.

All patients who are being rescheduled are being contacted directly to advise of individual arrangements.
Maternity, Dialysis and Chemotherapy services have not been affected. In addition, the hospital is providing limited Paediatric services for GP referred patients who do not need access to radiology services.
“A full assessment by two independent civil engineering services of the site drainage is underway, in cooperation with HSE Estates. In addition an independent assessment of the remedial works that will be necessary at the hospital has commenced.
“A Contingency Management Team is in place at the hospital and is managing the situation. It will be sometime before we can confirm when all services will return to their previous locations. In the meantime the arrangements outlined above will continue and we will keep all patients fully informed. We also have arrangements in place for regular briefings with the media and with local elected representatives.
“We thank the local community and all of the agencies (the Army, An Garda Síochána, the National Ambulance Service) for their ongoing co-operation and support”, concluded Sean Murphy.