Concern at reports that some chemotherapy treatments at Letterkenny University Hospital have been suspended

Donegal TD Pearse Doherty seeking answers after "deeply alarming" reports from families that new referrals have stopped

Staff Reporter

Reporter:

Staff Reporter

Concern at reports that chemotherapy treatments at Letterkenny University Hospital have been suspended

Concern has been raised at reports that new referrals for patients requiring chemotherapy treatments at Letterkenny University Hospital have been suspended.
The reports have been described as deeply alarming by Donegal TD Pearse Doherty who said families of cancer patients have reported that their loved ones are being sent to Galway for chemotherapy services because the oncology unit in Letterkenny has reached full capacity.
He said the families have claimed that new patient referrals from Donegal are being transferred directly to Galway for treatment, while only the existing case loads of cancer patients are receiving treatment in Letterkenny.
The Sinn Féin TD said he was awaiting a response from the hospital management on the issue.
“Over the last few days, I have been contacted by relatives of Donegal cancer patients all of whom have told a similar story of loved ones being referred to Galway as part of their on-going chemotherapy treatment, with families claiming that hospital officials have informed them that no new referrals are being seen at Letterkenny, and blaming this decision on the fact that the service locally has now reached maximum capacity.
“Constituents have come forward to say that it has been suggested to them that this new system of redirecting patients to Galway from Letterkenny has only just come about in recent weeks as a result of continued pressures locally.
“I have this week written to hospital management in Letterkenny, and have asked that they clarify these reports, and as well as asking for a status update in respect of chemotherapy services at LUH, I have also sought information on the alternative arrangements which are in place for Donegal cancer patients should these reports be accurate.
“While I am still awaiting a response from the hospital, I have also tabled a number of Dáil Questions to the Minister for Health this week in relation to this issue, and not only do my questions relate to the queries which I’ve already raised with management, but I am seeking detailed information concerning staffing and vacancy levels at the oncology department and in relation to all personnel involved in the administering of chemotherapy treatments at Letterkenny.”