Problems filling second oncologist post in Letterkenny has led to Galway referrals

Difficulty in filling the post for a second consultant oncologist at Letterkenny Univeristy Hospital is the reason new chemotherapy referrals are being made to Galway.

The Saolta Hospital Group has confirmed in a statement, that the locum covering that post has resigned to take up a position abroad and a replacement won’t be in place until the start of March.

Full report: 

Donegal Sinn Fein TD Pearse Doherty issued a statement today calling for clarification on reports that new patients needing chemotherapy treatment at Letterkenny University Hospital are being referred to Galway.

He says that chemotherapy referrals for new patients appear to have been suspended due to the oncology service at the hospital being under so much pressure.

In a statement to Ocean FM News this afternoon, the Saolta Hospital group has confirmed that this is, in fact, the case but the decision has been made in the interests of patient safety.

Saolta says there are 2 consultant oncologist positions at the hospital and they’re waiting to fill one of these on a full-time basis.

In the meantime, a locum has been filling in but has recently resigned to take up a position abroad.

A replacement locum won’t in place until the 6th of March.

The hospital group says Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry is not in a position to provide chemotherapy treatment for Donegal patients due to capacity problems there as well.

Letterkenny University Hospital Manager Seán Murphy is reassuring patients that “the Oncology Team and Hospital management are very aware of the additional stress on cancer patients having to travel for chemotherapy treatment and are making every effort to find consultant cover in order to resume normal service at LUH.”

Saolta says normal service will resume once the locum is back in place from the 6th of March.