Overview of Some of Ongoing Work

Mission Statement

The primary aim of DACC is to ensure the people of Donegal

have access to world-class cancer services whilst ensuring the retention and development of all cancer services at Letterkenny General Hospital.

 

                                                                              Donegal Action for Cancer Care    

                                                                          “Equal Access for Equal Need”

                                                                                        074 91 28400                                                                                                               

Mr. Maurice Power,                                                                                                                                                                                Group CEO,                                                                                               

Saolta University Health Care Group,                                                                                            

University Hospital Galway,                                                                                                                                  

Newcastle Road,                                                                                            

Galway.                                                                                                     

2nd May 2017

Re: DACC requesting urgent meeting at LUH with Saolta University Hospital Group & others.

Dear Maurice,

                       At our meeting at the Dept. of Health with Minister Harris and others on the 13th March, Minister Harris had committed to arranging a meeting for us all with Saolta University Hospital Group Galway & Letterkenny in a couple  of weeks at LUH. At that meeting would also be Mr. Jerome Coffey The NCCP, Donegal Oireachtas Members, CCCNW & DACC. We have requested that Mr. Michael Conroy would also be present if Minister Harris is unable to attend. Mr. Coffey when asked by Minister Harris if he would come to LUH for the meeting agreed.

It is very important that this meeting happen very soon please.

We appreciate that there are very many demands on Minister Harris’s time & office so we are asking you to make contact with Minister Harris & his office to arrange a date for this meeting please. 

We really hope that in writing to you for your help with this meeting that we are respectfully not working outside of our boundaries with Minister Harris & his hard working team at his office. 

We have great respect for Minister Harris & his staff at the Dept. of Health and would not wish in any way to damage that professional relationship. 

We had hoped that the meeting could if at all possible be a Monday or Friday to allow for the Donegal Oireachtas Members opportunity to be in Donegal.  If not we will go with whatever day you can arrange for the meeting. We have written to the Donegal Oireachtas Members re our concerns securing a date for this important meeting & asked to meet with them all next week. 

There are many serious matters to be discussed some a long time outstanding.  We were surprised to note that the Saolta University Hospital Group were not at the meeting on the 13th March. Hoping to hear from the Ministers office & you very soon please.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely.                                                   

Betty Holmes                                                                                  

CC: Minister for Health, Mr. Simon Harris TD. & Mr. Michael Conroy, Dept. of Health.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

                                                                        Donegal Action for Cancer Care    

                                                                      “Equal Access for Equal Need”

                                                                                        074 91 28400                                                                                                                   

Minister for Health, Mr. Simon Harris TD,                                                                                                                  

 Dept. of Health,                                                                                                 

Re: VERY Urgent- 2 nd Breast Surgeon for LUH & date for follow up meeting at LUH with all key people invited to this meeting please as offered by you Minister on 13th March 2017

 Dear Minister Harris,

                                    We really hope Minister that you will read this letter please.                                  

We were & are still very upset to read your news release on Donegal Daily on 14th April…very upsetting to say the least!! Still we write this with respect Minister.

EXCLUSIVE: A Second Breast surgeon WILL be appointed to Letterkenny hospital next month.

It did sound like great news after all the work & long time but when we read it is a very different story!! The locum is welcome in the short term. Will this Locum have the necessary supports/ team that they will need to their work?  Where is the position of 2nd Permanent Breast Surgeon Minister Simon at please? With respect Minister Simon how many years does the process take?

This was first formally announced in Jan 2016 so where is the recruitment process at?

Has the post been advertised & where? If not Why Not?

Can we get a copy of the ad for the 2nd Breast Surgeon please?

It is hard to believe that we are not being taking for “ejjits” We may be voluntary & unpaid but not stupid no disrespect to you Minister Simon or the team at the Dept. of Health.   

What we see now with respect Minister are you now and the previous Minister for Health (Jan 2016) going back on your commitment and what you told us and we accepted from you in good faith on the 13th March?

 Minister Harris..so much for your commitment also to develop more Cross Border Services at Letterkenny Hospital when we now see that you are supporting  taking Breast Cancer Services OUT of LUH and into Derry. Not acceptable in any form!! Downgrading of Breast Cancer Services at Letterkenny Hospital…The National Cancer Control Programme dictating how it will be..like we have said repeatedly Minister Harris. Minister Harris very upsetting & so disappointed to hear this from you….

We read it was revealed “The possibility of medium-term requirements being addressed in cooperation with health services in Northern Ireland is also being explored, including the possibility of having a shared locum consultant. This would build on the co-operation already in place in relation to the radiation therapy services at the North West Cancer Centre in Altnagelvin Area Hospital.

One idea revealed yesterday could be a second surgeon also carrying out some of the required number of operations on patients in Northern Ireland at the new cancer care centre at Altnagelvin”.

Follow up meeting at LUH as announced by you Minister Simon on 13th March.

 Further to our meeting with you at the Dept. of Health Minister you did say that you would arrange a follow up meeting at Letterkenny University Hospital in the next couple of weeks.

We really need you Minister Simon to arrange this & if at all possible for you, Michael or Keith to attend please.   It can’t be just about talk it needs matters/ issues addressed, commitments  followed up, accountability, etc.

 This follow up meeting that you committed to arranging was with

Mr. Jerome Coffey The National Cancer Control Programme, Saolta Galway & Letterkenny,  Minister Mc Hugh, Donegal Deputies, Senator, CCCNW & DACC.

As before Minister we are aware that there are many demands & commitments on all of your times Minister but this meeting must happen very soon. We need you Minister to arrange this meeting. 

Minister Simon please arrange this meeting ASAP as the situation at LUH and the serious matters must be addressed.  This news release hasn’t helped any of us.   

If at all possible can the meeting be a Monday or Friday to allow the Donegal TD’s & Senator opportunity to be there?

If this can’t be then we will accept whatever date is arranged, but ask that this happen very soon.  Need a date please.

As we don’t do things behind backs we have written to the Donegal Oireachtas Members last Thursday asking if we don’t have a meeting date by the 28th April  that we meet with them all together on either Friday 5th May or Monday 8th May.

Thank you Minister Simon & indeed all the great team at the Dept. of Health.

 We really need this meeting so much.

Very upset.

Yours sincerely,                                                                  

Betty Holmes                                                          

                                                                       Donegal Action for Cancer Care    

                                                                         “Equal Access for Equal Need”

                                                                                    074 91 28400                                                                                                                 

Minister for Health, Mr. Simon Harris TD,                                                                                                                                                                                           &

Mr. Michael Conroy & Mr. Keith Mc Comiskey,

Dept. of Health,                                                                                               

Hawkins House,                                                                                     

Hawkins Street,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Dublin 2.                                                                                                 

DO2 VW90                                                                                            

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

31st. March 2017                                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

       Re: Urgent- Follow up meeting at LUH with all key people invited to this meeting please.

 Dear Minister Harris, Michael & Keith,

                                                                 Further to our meeting with you all at the Dept. of Health on the 13th March, Minister you did say that you would arrange a follow up meeting at Letterkenny University Hospital in the next couple of weeks.

We really need you Minister Simon to arrange this asap please.                                                     

This follow up meeting that you committed to arranging was with

Mr. Jerome Coffey The National Cancer Control Programme, Saolta Galway & Letterkenny, Donegal Minister Mc Hugh, Donegal Deputies, Senator, CCCNW & DACC.

We  are aware that there are many demands & commitments on all of your times Minister but if at all possible it would be very helpful to have you , Michael or Keith ( or all 3 of ye) at this meeting. We need all the help we can get at this meeting. It can’t be just about talk it needs matters/ issues addressed, commitments followed up on etc.etc.

Please arrange this meeting asap as the situation at LUH and the serious matters must be addressed.  The next we will be told is that it is Easter Holidays and no one can meet! 

If at all possible can the meeting be a Monday or Friday to allow the Donegal TD’s & Senator opportunity to be there?

If this can’t be then we will accept whatever date is arranged, but ask that this happen very soon.

Thank you all Minister Simon, Michael, Keith & indeed the great team at the Dept of Health. We really need this meeting so much.

Yours sincerely,                                                                  

Betty Holmes                                         

                                                                         Donegal Action for Cancer Care    

                                                                        “Equal Access for Equal Need”

                                                                                       074 91 28400

                                                                                                                   

Dr. Jerome Coffey,                                                                                                                                                                                           

Interim National Director,                                                                                               

The National Cancer Control Programme,                                            

Kings Inn House,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

200 Parnell Street,                                                                                      

Dublin 1.                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

20th Feb. 2017                                                                             

                                                                                

Re: Ongoing serious concerns for future of cancer services at Letterkenny Hospital.

 Dear Dr. Coffey,

                            We feel that we must write to you with our very serious concerns for cancer services at Letterkenny University Hospital.

We are aware that Minister Harris is presently working on a follow up meeting at the Dept. of Health in the same format as the previous two DACC had requested in 2015. We need everyone around the table at the same time. We really hope you will be in a position to attend.

We must ask you to please explain to us why the NCCP continue to block the appointment of a 2nd Breast Surgeon for LUH? Why has the post not moved forward?

This is totally unacceptable. We must also ask do the NCCP have the authority to do this? Can the NCCP over rule a Health Minister’s decision & public announcement? 

This new post was also discussed with & welcomed by DACC at our meeting with Saolta University Hospital Group at LUH on the 11th May 2016.

As we have stated verbally & in written form it is our believe that the NCCP are doing all they can to ensure in particular the Breast Cancer Services at Letterkenny Hospital fail.

  • The next thing we will hear is that the Breast Unit at LUH cannot take any more patients!!! Down the road to Galway again!! Not good enough Dr. Coffey. There are many questions that really need to be answered.
  • Then the NCCP will be able to remove the service from Letterkenny to Galway or perhaps the plan is to Altnagelvin?

While we welcome the excellent Radiotherapy Services that Donegal patients can access at Altnagelvin Hospital with a major investment from the Irish Government we have very serious concerns that there does not to us appear to be any financial investment into key cancer services at LUH. What support does the NCCP provide to the Radiotherapy Services at Altnagelvin?

As we have pointed out at our meeting at the Dept. of Health the requirement that each Breast Surgeon must have 50 new cancers diagnoses with the Breast Surgeon at Letterkenny Hospital far in excess of this with well over 80+ cancers!!! Donegal Breast Cancer patients not important!!

How many new cancer diagnosis do each of the Breast Surgeons in Galway University Hospital now have?

Again we firmly believe that the NCCP do not support present cancer services or their development at LUH.

Please outline to us in detail how the NCCP does in fact support the different Cancer Services Breast, Prostate & Colorectal at Letterkenny University Hospital. 

How many patients are on the waiting list with each of these cancers?

We would ask that you Dr. Coffey in your position as Interim National Director answer our queries please.

Positive working relationships that did exist over many years no longer exist with DACC being ignored at many levels, terrible.

We in DACC as before are in existence 12 years in April, we are all voluntary and unpaid!!

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,                                                                  

Betty Holmes                                    

CC: Minister for Health, Mr. Simon Harris TD,

        Mr. Tony O’ Brien, Director General HSE.

May 2016 Brief overview of DACC to all

Key European Parliament Personnel.

 European Commission

Communication from the Commission

On effective, accessible & resilient health systems.

Health systems must be accessible. This is one of the principles stated in the European Social Charter, which emphasises the importance of transparent criteria for access to medical treatment and the obligation for States to have adequate healthcare system which does not exclude parts of the population from receiving healthcare services.

Patients should have reasonable access to health care services:

they should not have to travel to far or wait to long to access the service they need.

Problems relating to distance could be overcome through more integrated models of care, which improve contact between patients & the health system and through wider uptake of health solutions.

 DACC are asking please for your support with the following in particular Donegal’s geographical position easily visible from our map.

Immediate key issues for DACC while provided with this great opportunity in Brussels are:

    • Highlighting our unique geographical position in relation to the 8 Centres of Excellence, no railway, no motorway!  Donegal does not have reasonable access to health care services that have been either reduced or removed primarily due to lack of support & resources to meet the needs of the population of over 161,000. Donegal has to travel serious distances to access treatments & services in Galway Centre of Excellence.
  • Please look at our map on the previous page.

We ask please that this geographical position of Donegal be recognised at European level.

Letterkenny Hospital should be the 9th Centre of Excellence in Ireland.

2) The appointment system for referrals to the Breast Unit at Letterkenny University Hospital was changed at start of 2015. Appointments were allocated to patients 5 days per week by the staff at the Breast Unit at Letterkenny Hospital. The system now in place is that the Breast Unit at Letterkenny daily sends the appointment requests to Galway University Hospital daily where the Lead Breast Consultant allocates appointments twice a week. DACC are asking your support to have this reversed back to Letterkenny Hospital as it had operated well for approx. 10 years.   This new system is not working and is definitely not in the best interest of Donegal Breast Cancer Patients or indeed the Breast Unit at LGH.  

Presently there are approx. 600 patients waiting on an appointment at Letterkenny.

3) Re re-introduction of Prostate/ Urology Surgery at Letterkenny Hospital. Urology patients are presently having their surgery at Letterkenny Hospital. Urology patients who have been on the waiting list for 1.5 years are now being referred to other hospitals.

There are approx. 800 Prostate Cancer patients who are not presently being seen.

DACC believe that the Saolta University Hospital Group who has responsibility for the Western Hospital area is not working in the best interest of Letterkenny Hospital & Donegal cancer patients & services. Key cancer services are being removed from Letterkenny Hospital.

Donegal Action for Cancer Care wish to extend our sincere thanks to

Martina Anderson MEP Sinn Fein for providing us with this very important opportunity.

We hope that you important people in Brussels that we have met will please take our concerns and raise them at the highest level including also the Irish Government.

I would welcome please an update from you on these matters especially regarding Donegal cancer patients & other patient’s exclusion & discrimination due to our geographical position.

We are asking that the key cancer & other services at Letterkenny University Hospital are retained, re-instated, maintained & resourced to meet the  health needs of the people of Donegal, Ireland. 

Thank you.

*************************************************

The above questions in a detailed document were also sent by post from DACC to

Mairead Mc Guinness MEP, The Public Health & Food Safety Committee, the other 3 MEP’S Luke Ming Flanagan Matt Carthy, Marian Harkin &

Key European Parliament Personnel with above questions that we took to Brussels.

************************************

Meeting with Minister for Health Mr. Simon Harris TD 

at Letterkenny University Hospital Monday 12th December 2016 

European Commission-

On effective, accessible and resilient health systems.

Health systems must be accessible. This is one of the principles stated in the European Social Charter, which emphasises the importance of transparent criteria for access to medical treatment and the obligation for States to have adequate healthcare system which does not exclude parts of the population from receiving healthcare services.

Aim of this meeting

To ask you Minister Harris TD please to help & support us by arranging the very long overdue follow up meeting at the Dept. of Health in same format as before, implement a practice where meetings of this type can happen 3 times per year & to address the major issues that affect/ impact on Letterkenny University Hospital, its patients, staff & services.

                                                                                                                                         

      12th December 2016

Dear Minister Harris,

DACC know the excellence that exists at Letterkenny University Hospital.

Letterkenny Hospital has been a leader in many areas it’s staff, service provision, developments & research for many years. LUH continues to be.  Today is another fine example of this. DACC make no apology for our commitment to best practice quality care & excellence for Donegal patients.

Letterkenny Hospital has not over many years received the level of funding that it should have. It has been discriminated against for a very long time.   Minister Harris as you know there are very many questions & matters that needs to be addressed.

This we believe can be best happen at a further meeting at the Dept. of Health.  We request please that this meeting happen no later than end of Feb. 2017. 

We are asking you please to put a system in place that we can all go to the Dept. of Health 3 times per year in the same format as 2015 meetings and be briefed on what is happening, have our questions addressed & discuss our concerns. We suggest Feb, July & end November?

We would expect that those key professionals would attend meetings at the Dept. of Health on a regular basis as part of their work accountability so no extra impact on their working week. We are repeatedly told of commitment to LUH we must now see it. Actions not words 

This would mean that key professionals that we are in contact with regarding ongoing concerns etc. will be better able to address these and as before we in Donegal can be better informed to pass this information onto the public.

We wish to say a very sincere Thank You for meeting with us today & are very hopefully that you will assist us in these matters please.

We have outlined some of our questions & concerns on next page.

Yours Sincerely,

 ________________               __________________                   _____________________

Rose Boylan                            Mary Mc Daid                                     Betty Holmes

Some of the questions & concerns not them all:

*Overdue follow up meeting from 20th Aug 2015 at the Dept. of Health in same format.

*No update from Saolta on agreed actions as agreed 3 months after meeting 20th August 2015.

*The Oncology Department at LUH- vacant senior position in the Oncology Department. Why hasn’t this been addressed?  Impact on patients, staff & service putting extra pressure on the Oncology Department.

*Urology Services Strategy to have been completed at end of 2015- copy requested by DACC from Saolta 19th Sept 2016

*Prostate Rapid Access Clinic at LUH- told by Cancer Control Programme Sept 2016 wouldn’t happen!! Prostate Cancer Services for Donegal men, Minister we are aware that there are some new developments at LUH with this

*Geographical catchment area for access to Radiotherapy at Altnagelvin for south Donegal cancer patients- reply from Dr. Hynes stating that they go to Galway.

*Will Breastcheck patients who have their surgery in Galway also not be able to access Radiotherapy at Altnagelvin?

*The Breast Cancer Services at LUH- 2nd Surgeon? New cancers in excess of 80+

*The long waiting lists for appointments & surgery at LUH (including the restriction now of one day theatre list per surgeon for January),

*The Cardiac Services at LUH- Waiting times for angiograms & appointments

*Has the General Adult Social Work at LUH posts been advertised? What action has been taken to address this important matter?     

*DACC request to you Minister to have an input/ consultation re Dáil Health System Committee 10 year plan. We know they are now asking for an extension till April.

Thank you Minister Harris & your team for meeting  with us today at Letterkenny University Hospital.

We do not take your time for granted.

 

 

                                      Donegal Action for Cancer Care    

                                                                          “Equal Access for Equal Need”

                                                                                          074 91 28400

Dr. Patrick Nash,                                                                                        ,                                                                              

Chief Clinical Director,                                                                             

Chief Clinical Director Office,                                                                  

Saolta University Health Care Group,                                                                                           

University Hospital Galway,                                                                                                                                              

Newcastle Road,                                                                                            

Galway,                                                                                                      

H91 YR71

 And

Dr. Colm Henry,                                                                                                                                                                          National Clinical Advisor & Group Lead Acute Hospital Division ,

Office of National Clinical Advisor & Group Lead                                             

for Acute Hospitals,                                                                                              

Dr. Steevens’ Hospital,                                                                                         

Steevens Lane,                                                                                                                                                                 

 Dublin 8

4th May  2016      

Re: Outstanding answers please re Urology & Prostate questions

Dear Dr. Nash & Dr. Henry,

                                             Further to Dr. Nash’s letter to us on the 11th April we are now asking for an update please on the outstanding questions re Urology / Prostate patients & services

While your letter Dr. Nash said we would have them at the end of that week we did appreciate it may have taken a little longer. It is now almost a month and you had said we would have at the end of the week of the 11th April. You have the questions.

We know that Urology patients who have been on the waiting list for 1.5 years are now being referred to other hospitals.

At the start of the year there are approx. 800 Prostate Cancer patients who are not presently being seen. This figure is probably a lot more now.

It is important to say that we are thankful that Urology / Prostate services have been resumed at Letterkenny University Hospital but need to ensure that the resources needed are also available.

It would be re-miss not to acknowledge this.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely.                                                   

Betty Holmes

  CC: Mr. Tony O’ Brien Director General HSE.     

         Dr. Mary Hynes, Deputy Director, National Cancer Control Programme

                             Donegal Action for Cancer Care    

                                                              “Equal Access for Equal Need”

                                                                             074 91 28400

Dr. Patrick Nash,                                                                                                                                                                    

 Chief Clinical Director,                                                                            

Chief Clinical Director Office,                                                                  

Saolta University Health Care Group,                                                                                   

University Hospital Galway,                                                                                                                              

Newcastle Road,                                                                                            

Galway,                                                                                                      

H91 YR71

27th April 2016

Re: Outstanding answers please re Urology & Prostate questions

Dear Pat,

             Again thank you for your letter of the 11th April.

Just a wee reminder re our outstanding questions regarding the Urology/ Prostate service at Letterkenny? 

While your letter said we would have them at the end of that week we appreciate it may have taken a little longer.

You have the questions.

We know that Urology patients who have been on the waiting list for 1.5 years are now being referred to other hospitals.

At the start of the year there are approx. 800 Prostate Cancer patients who are not presently being seen. This figure is probably a lot more now.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely.                                                   

Betty Holmes

10th May 2016

Ms. Betty Holmes,  Donegal Action for Cancer Care

 Dear Betty,

Apologies for the delay getting back to you with details about the Urology / Prostate service at Letter in Letterkenny.

The service is currently provided by a Locum Surgeon doing both day case and inpatient surgery (2 days of surgery per month with 2 days of cystoscopy per month) with Mr. Eamonn Rogers (from Galway) providing an outpatient service in Letterkenny University Hospital (2 full days of clinics per month).

You were looking for some information with regards to the Urology service. I have looked through the data and since Mr. Rogers has started a clinic there has been significant improvements. In addition, the inpatient service has improved significantly with Mr. Moran. All urgent cases are now being seen in a timely fashion. All referral letters are being triaged in a timely fashion and there is no outstanding letters awaiting triage.There are currently no patients with visible haematuria waiting cystoscopy compared to 15 patients who were waiting in October 2015. As of April 11th, there are no bladder cancers waiting review. In October 2015 there were 56 such cases. There are 352 with prostate cancer who are awaiting review. These are now being accommodated in the available clinics and I would hope that this will improve in the coming months.

I can ensure you that we are working to ensure the provision of a safe sustainable service for Urology patients in Donegal. This has to be as part of a Group wide “hub and spoke” model with Galway as the hub for cancer care for major cancer surgery but with the majority of care delivered locally in Letterkenny.. I hope that this is finalised in the near future as part of the group wide clinical strategy.

In addition, I am delighted to confirm that we have approval to proceed with an Advanced Nurse Practitioner in Urology in Letterkenny, which is being supported by the NCCP. This is a major improvement for Letterkenny and a clear commitment from both Saolta and the NCCP to ensuring the sustainability of the service for Letterkenny.

I am happy to discuss further with you.

Best Wishes.

Dr.Pat Nash.Chief Clinical Director, Saolta University Health Care Group.

 

DACC- some good news!!     13th April 2016

DACC are delighted this morning to receive a letter from  Mr Pat Nash Saolta University Hospital Group confirming that referrals  are no longer centralised and the appointment system for Breast Cancer  Services. This means that appointments are now traiged back at  Letterkenny.  Great news.
 

DACC have worked very hard on this from the start of 2015 and did not let up.
We have also had an update on the transfer of long waiters non urgent caes to Galway & also on delevoments to have a sustainable service at  Letterkenny Hospital. 

We have been told we will have an update on the Urology Service later this week.
It has been a long journey but we are delighted!!

                                                                       Donegal Action for Cancer Care    

                                                                  “Equal Access for Equal Need”

                                                                                074 91 28400                                                                                                            

Dr. Patrick Nash,                                                                                                                                                                                               Clinical Lead,                                                                                               

Saolta University Health Care Group,                                                                                           

University Hospital Galway,                                                                                                                                         

Newcastle Road,                                                                                                                                                                                               Galway.                                       

 29th March 2016

Re: outstanding questions

Dear Pat,

             Further to our earlier emails & letters we again write asking please for the following.

Outstanding report from meeting at the Dept. of Health on the 20th August 2015- this was due 3 months later.

We again as we have from it’s introduction at the start of 2015 are asking that the referral of the appointment system for appointments to Letterkenny Breast Unit be brought back to Letterkenny from Galway. This system is not working and is not in the best interest of the patients!!! Indeed there are very serious concerns regarding this very serious situation. This must be changed back asap.

Our outstanding questions regarding the Breast Unit appointments…there were approx. 600 patients waiting on an appointment at Letterkenny at the start of the year.

Also can we please also have answers to questions regarding the Urology/ Prostate service at Letterkenny?

We know that Urology patients who have been on the waiting list for 1.5 years are now being referred to other hospitals.

At the start of the year there are approx. 800 Prostate Cancer patients who are not presently being seen.

We have taken our concerns regarding the Breast, Urology & Prostate patients & services to the European Parliament as we believe that there is a serious breach as per the European Commission

Communication on effective, accessible & resilient health systems.

Yours sincerely.                                                   

Betty Holmes

  CC: Mr. Tony O’ Brien Director General HSE.                                                                       

                                                                    Donegal Action for Cancer Care    

                                                                    “Equal Access for Equal Need”

                                                                              074 91 28400

                                                                                                                 

Dr. Colm Henry,                                                                                                                                                                                

National Clinical Advisor & Group Lead Acute Hospital Division ,

Office of National Clinical Advisor & Group Lead for Acute Hospitals,                                     

 Dr. Steevens’ Hospital,                                                                                                                                    

Steevens Lane,                                                                                                

Dublin 8.                                                                                                                                                                                                        28th February 2016                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Re: Reply

Dear Dr. Henry,

                          Thank you for your letter of the 18th February.

 You refer to our frustration, that still remains.

You refer to the majority of our questions having had replies….the majority? Think we have asked a lot more than has been answered.

We have not received the outstanding written report on agreed actions from our meetings at the Dept. of Health on the 27th Feb & the 20 th August 2015 as agreed. Mr. Pat Nash was to have provided this written update three months after our August meeting.  

 We are attaching our questions for your information and you with respect Dr. Henry can highlight to us what has been answered.  Please also answer what hasn’t been answered.

We have not had any of our emails to Mr Maurice Power or Mr Pat Nash answered.

Indeed as recent as 1st Feb 2016 re outstanding questions & 7th  February  recently announced 2nd Breast Surgeon for Letterkenny Hospital. No answers re the Prostate patients not being seen!

We have had a reply via Mary Hynes to us re correspondence to Jerome Coffey & Liam Woods.

For us in DACC we see nothing that would reassure us that the continuation & development of cancer & other key services at Letterkenny Hospital are on the Saolta University Hospital Group agenda. 

We are very disappointed that these key people who would have initially given us the impression that there was a mutual respect between us now behave as if their lack of accountability to the community is now acceptable to us. We in DACC totally voluntary & unpaid working for 11 years in the best interest of Donegal cancer patients & services.

Thank you. Yours sincerely,                                                                  

Betty Holmes                                                              

DACC news release 29th Feb 2016 - DACC off to Brussels this week.

Donegal Action for Cancer Care are delighted to be part of a 38 person delegation travelling this week to the European Parliament in Brussels to discuss our cancer concerns. Thanks for this important opportunity must go to MEP Martina Anderson Sinn Fein. This trip was initially planned for the 7th Dec 2015 but for security reasons was cancelled. It is a very short trip but we will do our best as always.

DACC really welcome this major opportunity to discuss our serious concerns for Donegal cancer services. We will be asking the European Parliament to recognise the geographical location f Donegal in relation to the 8 Centres of Excellence in Ireland, asking for their support in reversing the Centralisation of the referral appointments from Galway back to Letterkenny Hospital with major waiting lists at present and highlighting our very serious concerns for the 800 prostate cancer patients who have not been seen with their follow up appointments.

We feel that these major concerns are covered under the EU Communication from the Commission on effective, accessible & resilient health systems which states that “ Health systems must be accessible. This is one of the principles stated in the European Social Charter, which emphasises the importance of transparent criteria for access to medical treatment and the obligation for States to have adequate healthcare system which does not exclude parts of the population from receiving healthcare services. Patients should have reasonable access to health care services: they should not have to travel to far or wait to long to access the service they need.

We are hoping that our DACC map will make a very clear statement regarding where Donegal is & how this is not recognised by the Irish Government or Health System. We will do our very best for Donegal cancer patients & services as we have been doing for almost 11 years in a voluntary unpaid capacity.      

Questions to All

Donegal General Election Candidates 2016 for written answers by the

 22nd February 2016 please.

DACC are respectfully asking all Donegal Election Candidates what they will do regarding the following important health matters for Donegal people.

Letterkenny Hospital is in our opinion being “stripped” of its key services.

What will you do to ensure that the necessary required annual budget requirements for Letterkenny Hospital are met and secured?

What will you do to ensure that the serious staffing cuts and impacts of the recruitment

embargo on services at Letterkenny Hospital are addressed?

What will you do to ensure that the Prostate & Urology service & clinics are fully restored at Letterkenny Hospital?

Will the Saolta Hospital Group wide strategy for Urology Services at the end of 2015 mean taking them from Letterkenny Hospital to Galway University Hospital?

What will you do about the very serious waiting list for appointments both clinic & surgery at Letterkenny Hospital?

How will you ensure that the Centralisation of the Referral Process for appointments to the Breast Unit at Letterkenny Hospital be reversed back to the Breast Unit at Letterkenny Hospital?

How will you ensure that the recruitment of a 2nd Breast Surgeon for Letterkenny Hospital happens as a matter of urgency?

How will you ensure that when the 2nd Surgeon is recruited that the necessary resources will be made available for both surgeons to do their work? 

This new system is not working and is definitely not in the best interest of Donegal Breast Cancer Patients or indeed the Breast Unit at LGH. Saolta as you know tell us it is all working well, it is not the case.

What we are asking please for the following information please:

  • The number of patients referred to the Breast Unit at Letterkenny Hospital?
  • The number of patients when requests received are considered urgent & non urgent?
  • The number of patients whose appointment request is sent to Galway on a daily basis?
  • The number of patients whose appointments are allocated by Galway twice weekly that are Urgent & Non Urgent?
  • The number of patients whose appointments are given to attend at the Breast Unit Letterkenny?
  • The number of patients whose appointments are given to attend at Galway from Letterkenny’s referrals?

Prostate/ Urology Services at Letterkenny Hospital.      

While we are delighted that there has been action on this with surgery starting again at LGH on Friday 13th November and promises that the clinics would start with a “couple of weeks”.

In Feb this year there are 425 men with prostate cancers & 160 women & men with bladder cancers that needed to be followed up. We were assured that the resources that were needed to treat the patients at Letterkenny Hospital would be made available.

 What is the official start date for the clinics to resume at Letterkenny Hospital? Couple of weeks is now.

 How often will clinics be held at Letterkenny Hospital?

 How many of these patients from Feb. have now 9 months later been seen by a consultant elsewhere?

 How many new patients are there since February? We believe this figure is in hundreds.

 How many of these have been seen if any to date?

    • Re re-introduction of Prostate/ Urology Surgery at Letterkenny Hospital.

We have some concerns that the weekend appears to be the only time available at Letterkenny Hospital for this surgery and do wonder why it has changed to the weekend when it wasn’t before?

 Is this intentional weekends so that it is hoped that it will not succeed?  

“We have been told that this is an interim arrangement whilst The Saolta Group finalise a group wide strategy for urology services – end of 2015”.

For us in DACC we did raise our concerns that the group wide strategy for Urology Services will not mean taking them from Letterkenny Hospital to Galway…..this would not be acceptable to us in DACC at all. The Saolta Group reassure us that they are committed to maintaining a urology service in Letterkenny for the patients of Donegal.

 What does “committed to maintaining urology services at Letterkenny Hospital” actually mean? Details please.

    • Letterkenny University Hospital- New Name

With Letterkenny Hospital now re-named as part of the Saolta University Hospital Group can you outline to us the benefits this will have for Letterkenny Hospital?

 What additional resources/ services will this re-branding provide to Letterkenny Hospital?

 Is this about strengthening services at University Hospital Galway?

    • Letterkenny Hospital as 9th Centre of Excellence

DACC are now calling on you all clearly within your professional roles please to very seriously look at Letterkenny Hospital becoming the 9th Centre of Excellence. We first raised this back in 2009 and while it appears to have fallen on deaf ears we have & are keeping it to the fore please.

 We now ask for your support with this & that very serious consideration is given to it. And if not why not to be outlined in great detail please.

We have attached our DACC map again, with pages outlining distances & indeed discrimination for Donegal patients & Letterkenny Hospital…… Not just a reason by any means to have a Centre of Excellence but with the excellence that already exists at Letterkenny University Hospital including its top rate Cancer Services as well as its Clinical & Research Academy and now Radiotherapy at Altnagelvin Hospital in the autumn next year, LGH as the 9th Centre is another major step forward in healthcare.

No reason Belfast can’t be the 10th completing the circle around Ireland??

We are sure that you all will want to do what is in the best interest of the cancer & other patients; it’s about health care and not unrealistic strategic plans while services are removed, become unstable & patients unable to access treatments & care.

7)We note with interest that within the previous Minister for Health’s document “The Establishment of  Hospital Groups as a transition to Independent Hospital Trusts” “ recognition of the geography of the region, Sligo and Letterkenny General Hospitals will be managed as a distinct unit within the West/North West. The precise management arrangements will be determined and agreed by the interim board of the group.  The synergistic service model developed between Sligo and Letterkenny hospitals should be retained.  Letterkenny Hospital, because of its geographic location, similar to Kerry and Wexford General Hospitals, should retain its full range of ED, medical, surgical, maternity and paediatric services”.    

Another point the reports reference to Kerry & Wexford Hospitals geographical location is nothing like Letterkenny Hospitals. 

*From Kerry Hospital to Cork University Hospital is            1 hour 42 minutes, 115 km.

*From Kerry Hospital to Limerick University Hospital is      1hour 22 minutes  95.5 km              

*From Wexford Hospital to Waterford University Hospital is          58 minutes  60.6km.

*From Letterkenny Hospital to University Hospital Galway see attached in this document.  

See these distances on the DACC map on Home Page.

 

                                                                        Donegal Action for Cancer Care    

                                                                   “Equal Access for Equal Need”

                                                                                074 91 28400                                                                                                                  

Minister for Health, Mr. Leo Varadkar TD&                                                                                                                                  

 Mr. Philip O'Callaghan,

Policy/Parliamentary Adviser to Minister Varadkar TD,                               

Dept. of Health,                                                                                                ,                                                                                Hawkins House,                                                                                                                                              

Hawkins Street,                                                                                                        

Dublin 2.                                                                                                            

1st February 2016                                                                                                                                                                     

Re: Thank you & DACC requested follow up meeting at Dept. of Health.

Dear Minister Varadkar & Philip,

                                                    Firstly, again a sincere Thank You for your announcement re the appointment of a second Breast Surgeon for Letterkenny Hospital. This is great news but you will Minister appreciate our wish to exercise some caution with this. This needs to progress asap.

As the Saolta University Hospital Groups & The National Cancer Control Programme have over a long period of time told us very clearly that this would not happen we have some concerns as ye will both appreciate. It is still good news!

We are now again asking please for a date for the agreed follow up meeting from the 20th August 2015.

We do realise that with the upcoming election possible dates may now be difficult to secure but we will still keep asking.

The agreed actions from the meeting in February & August and other serious concerns regarding key cancer & other services at Letterkenny Hospital remain & must be addressed.

Minister Letterkenny Hospital needs to be supported & resourced. Saolta & the NCCP will continue to remove services in the interest of Galway University Hospital. So called Centres of Excellence! Radiotherapy at Altnagelvin Hospital while welcome does not meet the medical needs of all patients. Letterkenny Hospital must meet the needs of the population of Donegal people. 

I have already emailed dates for next week that I am not available due to a hospital appointment at the Beacon Hospital.

We have today again written to Dr Patrick Nash as we haven’t had any update after 3 months or indeed answers to any of our other questions. We await his reply.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,                                                                  

Betty Holmes                                                               

 

DACC News release:

25th September 2015

Donegal Action for Cancer Care are delighted with the news that Minister for Health Leo  Varadkar will visit Letterkenny General Hospital & meet with both  DACC & Cooperating for Cancer Care North West next Thursday. 

DACC had written to the Minister in August 2014 and asked him to visit  Letterkenny Hospital & to meet with them. At that time the Minister  was unable to do so but DACC have kept their request to the Minister to  the fore and continued with our requset.  .

For us in DACC  it is key that the Minister visit the hospital to see first hand the  great work that happens there & the difficultes that they  experience. It is also important that DACC have the opportunity to  continue to highlight the difficulties that we are aware off among which are Breast  & Prostate Cancer Services.

We would hope that our map that we took to our meeting at the Dept of Health in Feb  & sent to the Minister again this week highlighting the travel  distance for cancer & other patients to Galway Hospital will be  benifical in our meeting.  

DACC- An Important message for women in Donegal aged 50 to 64 years!

30th August 2015

Donegal Action for Cancer Care are eager to get the importance of a free BreastCheck Mammogram out to Donegal women.

 Are you a woman aged between 50 to 64 years? Have you received an invitation from BreastCheck to have a free mammogram at their unit in Letterkenny? If you have got an invitation it is really very important that you go to Letterkenny and have your mammogram.

BreastCheck is a Government-funded programme providing breast screening and invites women aged 50 to 64 for a free mammogram on an area-by-area basis every two years.

The aim of BreastCheck is to reduce deaths from breast cancer by finding and treating the disease at an early stage.

If you are in the in the eligible age group and do not receive an invitation in the next few months to attend make sure you contact Breast Check and get your name on their register. Women who have any concerns regarding their appointment can contact BreastCheck on Freephone 1800 45 45 55.

“DACC raised their concerns regarding the removal of the BreastCheck Unit from Inishowen with The Dept of Health & BreastCheck and have been told the unit will not be returning to Inishowen. Distance should not be a consideration when you get your invite to attend please! You will only have to do this once every two years.

“At our recent meeting in the Dept of Health Majella Byrne National Screening Service  told us that while accepting that screening in Buncrana would generally be more convenient for the Inishowen clients, Ms Byrne spoke of the logistical challenges of the overall organisation of screening programmes and the frequent changes in schedules to make the best use of facilities with the aim of maximising up-take.  The current plan will facilitate the screening of women living in Inishowen in a timely fashion that ensures that the benefit of their previous screening is not negated. DACC have always had a positive working relationship with BreastCheck and that will continue. DACC had worked very hard over the years and are proud of the work that we did in bringing BreastCheck to the county” said Betty Holmes DACC.

For DACC it is very important to make sure that eligible women in the age group make sure they attend the unit for their free mammogram. Don’t sit back & not attend when invited no matter where you live.  DACC also ask that family members make sure they ask the women in their lives if they have had their free mammogram. Remember by attending BreastCheck the live you save maybe your own!

Joint statement CCC(NW) and DACC re meeting LGH breast services Hawkins House 20 Aug 2015

Press Release 20 August 2015

The following is a joint statement from Co-operating for Cancer Care NorthWest and Donegal Action for Cancer Care who attended a meeting today, Thursday 20 August 2015 at 11.30am in the Department of Health, Hawkins House, Dublin
 

The purpose of the meeting was to receive feedback and re-evaluate progress made since the previous meeting held on 27 February last, regarding action to be taken to develop/progress breast cancer services in Letterkenny General Hospital.

It was a robust meeting. Firm commitment was given from Minister Varadkar and the Saolta Group to strengthen systematic breast cancer services in LGH in a manner that will be sustainable into the future.

It was agreed that the Saolta Group would continue with their internal dialogues to advance support to Letterkenny services and integration within the dedicated cancer unit.

It was acknowledged that progress has been made since the February meeting, whilst at the same time it was recognised that there is still much work to do.

All attending the meeting recognised that Letterkenny breast services require additional supports and were in agreement regarding the quality of services provided by the breast team within the hospital.

A further meeting is envisaged before the end of the year.

 

Press Release- DACC concerns at removal of BreastCheck Mobile Unit from Inishowen.

12th August 2015

Donegal Action for Cancer Care have very serious concerns for eligble women aged 50 to 64 in the Inishowen area who are due to have their free BreastCheck Mammogram this year. The unit is now not returning to Buncrana! Eligble women must from now on attend the unit at Letterkenny.

DACC had worked very hard from early 2007 to secure a BreastCheck Unit for the women of Donegal & continued their work for a second unit into Inishowen which came & began screening eligble women in November  2010. In 2013 census figures there were 2915 women in the 50 to 64 years age group with

BreastCheck is a Government-funded programme providing breast screening and invites women aged 50 to 64 for a free mammogram on an area-by-area basis every two years.

The aim of BreastCheck is to reduce deaths from breast cancer by finding and treating the disease at an early stage.

Back in May DACC raised their concerns with BreastCheck in Dublin when they received a phone call from a lady in Inishowen who had received an appointment to attend the unit in Letterkenny.

At that time BreastCheck said there were no known plans to remove the service from Inishowen. At that time it was thought that the ladies  circumstances made it easier at that time to attend the unit in Letterkenny.

DACC already have serious concerns regarding the Breast Unit in Letterkenny as due to staffing difficulties it is manned only 3- 3.5 days per week and as far as DACC are concerned this is totally unsuitable to meet the needs of the women of the area. BreastCheck have today told DACC that it is operational 5 days per week. This is not so.

“At this time we in DACC have to ask is this another important & lifesaving service that is being taken

away. We are told that the vast majority of women in the area being invited for screening during this round, will have been screened in Letterkenny previously. This is not so. The Unit was in Buncrana in 2013 and wasn’t due to return until month or so ago. We are very upset & annoyed that this has happened with no notice. No matter what way you look at it, it is the removal of a very important service from Inishowen. The Unit in Letterkenny is scheduled to stay till the end of the year so how will they be in a position to screen all the extra eligble women? Indeed it should not have happened, it is a disgrace. ” said Betty Holmes DACC.

Back in 2010 when the announcement that a second unit was being located in Buncrana Mr Tony O’ Brien  who at that time was Director of the National Cancer Screening Service said:

 “ There are in excess of 13,550 eligible women aged 50 to 64 living in the county. Due to the high numbers of eligible women to be screened it is necessary to introduce an additional mobile screening unit to ensure all women in the county are offered equal access to breast screening in a timely manner.

” I am delighted that BreastCheck can provide this additional service to women in north Donegal.”

DACC are now asking what has changed? Why is it now not important to have eligble Inishowen women offered equal access in a timely manner? Has Inishowen moved closer to Letterkenny, has the map changed?

As far as DACC are concerned this is not acceptable. We must again ask “ Where on the National agenda are Donegal women’s  & people’s lives?   

DACC ask all eligble women in the age group to ensure that they are registered with BresatCheck for their free mammogram. DACC wish people to know that it  is important to state clearly that wherever you live in Donegal if you receive an invite for your free mammogram please attend. Remember the live you save might be your own!

BreastCheck is a Government-funded screening service that is offered to women aged between 50 and 64 every two years. A mammogram is a simple procedure and an appointment only takes about half an hour in total. BreastCheck encourages every woman in Donegal who receives an invitation for a mammogram go for her appointment.

BreastCheck compiles a register (list) of women eligible for screening from information supplied by the Department of Social Protection, General Medical Services and private health insurance providers. The register contains a woman’s name, address and date of birth. This information is used to invite a woman for her mammogram when BreastCheck is screening in her area.

BreastCheck advises all women aged 50 to 64 to make sure their name is on the BreastCheck register by calling Freephone 1800 45 45 55 or checking online at www.breastcheck.ie.

Once on the register and known to the programme, a woman will automatically receive a letter and her invitation for a mammogram when BreastCheck is screening in her area.

If a woman is not on the BreastCheck register, there are two simple ways to have her details added. She can either register herself online in the ‘self search and register online’ section of www.breastcheck.ie or there are self registration forms available from BreastCheck that can be completed and returned by Freepost. These forms are available on request by calling the BreastCheck information line on Freephone 1800 45 45 55.

DACC work re LGH becoming a Centre of Excellence

10/07/2015

Hi Dessie,

Heard your 8am news release on Highland and want to update you.

DACC worked very hard ( as always) back in 2007 through to  2011 in trying to have LGH  made a cancer centre of excellence. We raised this with Minister Mary Harney, indeed even Enda Kenny as Party Leader in 2007, Bertie Ahern when he was Taoiseach, ith Prof Tom Keane when he became the first Director of the Cancer Control Programme who told us then very clearly that this would not happen!! Indeed Tom told us had he been here the Bresat Unit would never have been a satelite unit of Galway. We continued to raise it when Tom left and Susan O' Reilly took over and she told us that what Tom had said stood. We even continued this with James O' Reilly .....in Aug 2011 we then looked for LGH to become a Regional Hospital..... DACC worked very hard for a long time for LGH to be a cancer centre of excellence, we did the figures on cancers, populations, mileage geographical location etc, etc.....

Maybe you didn't know all this Dessie from back then....and  by the way we didn't get support locally for this.

Regards,

Betty Holmes Donegal Action for Cancer Care

Meeting with Minister for Health’s Officials &

Key Representatives regarding Breast Cancer Services

At Letterkenny General Hospital  at Dept. of Health Dublin

on Friday 27th February 2015

DACC extend our sincere thanks to Minister for Health Leo Varadkar for arranging this meeting.

Aim of meeting:

To provide an opportunity to be updated & told the truth regarding current issues, in particular our serious concerns regarding the current & long term plan for Breast Cancer Services at LGH.

  • We feel that the Breast service at Letterkenny Hospital is doomed unless someone in the organisation can come up with a coherent plan which puts flesh on the bones of all the confidence we hear.
    • What & where is the long term plan for the future of Breast Cancer services at Letterkenny General Hospital?
    • Are Galway Hospital & it’s key staff in support of the Breast Unit at Letterkenny? 
    • If so what is this support?
    • Why was there a meeting in Galway on Thursday 19th Feb with the agenda
    • “ to plan the centralization of the referral process for the Symptomatic Breast Service” What does this mean “ centralization” ? 
    • Does this mean it will not be in Letterkenny?
    • Are women going to be made travel to Galway to be seen?
    • *Why will they not be seen at the Breast Unit at Letterkenny Hospital? 
    • *Why take patients down this long road to Galway when a consultant can travel from Galway to the hospital in Letterkenny, it just doesn’t make sense and is not in the best interest of the patients.
    • *Will Galway Consultants not travel to the Breast Unit at LGH? If not why not?
    • Why are women who maybe in the early stages of breast cancer  no longer being  referred to see a specialist in Letterkenny?.

                Instead hundreds of women who receive referral letters from their GP will now have to travel to Galway. This does not make sense & again not in the best interest of the patient! ( We were told on Tuesday morning this was now 80 from waiting)

  • Why is there no consideration to having a second Breast Surgeon at Letterkenny Hospital?
  • Do each of Galway’s 5 Breast Surgeons have the required number of Breast Cancers each?  50?
  • How many each do they have?
  • LGH needs a minimum of two Breast Radiologist’s to function at LGH.
  •     LGH has one fulltime who we assume will be retirement age in the next couple of 
  •     years & one part who we understand had retired       
  • That leaves in the region of a couple of years to recruit at least one Breast Radiologist and we understand there is a National shortage.  Also who would come to work at LGH with a single Breast Surgeon? Post advertised for 18 months & not one applicant.
  • There are 425 men with prostate cancers & 160 women & men with bladder cancers that need to be followed up. Will the resources that are needed to treat the patients atLetterkenny Hospital be made available by whom & when?
  • 6)  Does “In-patient care will continue and strengthen its existing links with Galway University Hospital which will provide enhanced cover pending the appointment of a full time Consultant Urologist at LGH.” mean that patients will be traveling to Galway to be treated.

“To date a locum consultant general surgeon has been appointed from the 23rd Feb until the 16th April. Thereafter, a temporary general surgeon has been appointed for one year, from 16th April”. “The existing cystoscopy lists at LGH will continue along with the out-patient clinics and day surgery services. In-patient care will continue and strengthen its existing links with Galway University Hospital which will provide enhanced cover pending the appointment of a full time Consultant Urologist at LGH.”

  •   7) Waiting lists- Will funding be provided to treat the patients who are now being referred back to waiting lists at Letterkenny Hospital? This is a result we are told that there is no money left under the HSE initiative introduced at the end of 2013 for patients who had been on a waiting list for more than 12 months, whereby they were referred from public to private hospitals for outpatient consultant appointments and treatment. Again funds being used to support private hospitals!
  • “The out patients wait for a routine appointment is two years two months, for an urgent appointment it is one year and four months while the recall backlog is two years.

8) How many consultants have left or have given notice of leaving LGH in the last year?

  • 9)The great new Partnership Plan that Mr. Bill Maher talked to us about on the 31st Oct.2014. 
  • a) Will all the many existing difficulties for the hospitals in the group be addressed before it is implemented or will it be implemented with all the existing difficulties e.g. Budget cuts, recruitment embargo, difficulties accessing hospital services, etc creating bigger problems? 

b) Will it be primarily about building/ strengthening services at Galway’s University Hospital at the expense of the other hospitals in particular Letterkenny General Hospital?

It's 111km to the nearest Iarnrod Eireann rail station in Sligo from Letterkenny General Hospital. For a patient traveling to Dublin, the nearest motorway to Letterkenny travelling via the Republic of Ireland is over 290m. Even travelling through the north our nearest motorway is 170km. Well if you head to Newry it's a bit closer but that would make the overall trip to Dublin even longer. We Donegal people are the worst positioned geographically in the whole country and they expect our old and sick to travel huge distances to access health care.

No other county in Ireland has to do this!

Attendee’s at today’s meeting are:

  • Ms Rose Boylan,
  • Mrs. Lynn Mc Devitt,
  • Mrs Betty Holmes,                                       

Hi Highland News folk,                                  5th Aug 2014
 

We in DACC are upset and  more concerned regarding services & future of LGH after this evenings flooding.

News release below please.

Thank you,

Betty Holmes DACC

Donegal Action for Cancer Care are calling for an enquiry into the 2nd flooding at Letterkenny General Hospital.  We have already contacted Minister for Health Leo Varadkar TD & Mr Tony O' Brien Director General HSE regarding this matter.
We are calling on our Donegal elected representatives to support us in  this call and to ensure that this very urgent matter is addressed this  time.
It is not enough to say that today's flooding wasn't a fault of the  culvert , the fact that the hospital's new A& E building has been  flooded twice in just over the year, serious questions must be answered  regarding this building.
We in Donegal Action for Cancer Care have been working in a totally  voluntary capacity for 9 years now for the good of Donegal cancer  patients & Letterkenny General Hospital.
We must again remember the major impact that this flood once again has on firstly  patients , their families and not to be forgotten the great staff at  LGH.
At a time when we in DACC are very concerned  regarding budget cuts, recruitment embargo etc we now have this terrible situation again.
It must be sorted & questions answere
d

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