Sligo University Hospital is refuting claims there are delays of up to a month in processing blood tests.
It’s after claims by Sinn Fein that general practitioner in Sligo and Leitrim have put up signs stating that it could take up to a month for results of tests to be returned due to staff shortages at the hospital.
Sligo Leitrim Sinn Fein Deputy Martin Kenny put forward a parliamentary question to ask the Minister for Health Simon Harris to seek a response from the HSE on the matter.
The general manager of Sligo University hospital has now responded to Deputy Kenny’s query by saying that notices for such delays are inaccurate.
Grainne McCann says last week, the hospital wrote to all GPs in the area to advise of the increasing volume of samples being received and audits had shown that inappropriate tests are being performed routinely.
The letter states, as a result, a number of tests would no longer be processed unless accompanied by relevant clinical details.
The letter confirmed that the hospital’s laboratory is trying to maintain access to all appropriate lab tests for all clinicians and therefore restricting inappropriate testing.
The hospital says the turn-around for GP blood test results is 2 days for GPs who can receive results electronically and 3-4 days for GPs who receive hard copy reports by post.
However Ms McCann stated the increasing demand on laboratory services is an issue for the hospital as the resources in the Lab have not increased to meet the demand.