Irish Cancer Society reacts to LUH diagnosis delays

Highland Radio, Donegal, Letterkenny, Hospital, Trolleys

The Irish Cancer Society has expressed support for all the women, families and loved ones affected by the cases of delayed diagnoses of cancer laid out in a report into gynaecological services at Letterkenny University Hospital which was published this week.

In a statement, they say the delivery of future services must be regularly audited to ensure that targets are being met.

The ICS says as a result of the tragic outcomes and serious failures experienced by women affected, every necessary support must be made available to Letterkenny University Hospital and the Saolta Group to ensure that adequate resources, capacity, clinical governance and funding is provided so that the recommendations in the Review can be implemented swiftly.

The society welcomes the fact that some improvement measures are already underway, but has cautioned that the delivery of these must be underscored by comprehensive and regular audits and commitment to meet performance targets.

The Irish Cancer Society is seeking an urgent meeting with Health Minister Stephen Donnelly, and is requesting a full briefing on the Review, the impact of the clinical failures on women’s health outcomes, the measures that have been taken to date and the timelines and resourcing being made available to Letterkenny University Hospital to implement the recommendations.

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

Statement in Full -

Following the publication of a report into gynaecological services at Letterkenny University Hospital, the Irish Cancer Society would like to express its support for all the women, families and loved ones affected by the cases of delayed diagnoses of cancer laid out in the report. The Irish Cancer Society’s Support Line (1800 200 700), which is staffed by cancer nurses, is available to support any patient or family member affected by this Review.

As a result of the tragic outcomes and serious failures experienced by women affected, every necessary support must be made available to Letterkenny University Hospital and the Saolta Group to ensure that adequate resources, capacity, clinical governance and funding is provided so that the recommendations in the Review can be implemented swiftly. The Irish Cancer Society welcomes the fact that some improvement measures are already underway, but has cautioned that the delivery of these must be underscored by comprehensive and regular audits and commitment to meet performance targets.

On behalf of the women living in Donegal, the Irish Cancer Society will engage with all relevant stakeholders to ensure that the findings from the Review are fully implemented, and that robust clinical governance procedures are put in place so that women can have confidence in their local gynaecological services from pre-diagnosis right through to post-treatment support.

The Irish Cancer Society will seek an urgent meeting with the Minister for Health and request a full briefing on the Review, the impact of the clinical failures on women’s health outcomes, the measures that have been taken to date and the timelines and resourcing being made available to Letterkenny University Hospital to implement the recommendations. We will also ask the Minister to outline the national picture of gynaecological services, and seek evidence that necessary resourcing and capacity is being provided across the country so that gynaecology services at every hospital embody and deliver best practice and patient-centred care at every point.

The Irish Cancer Society has been tirelessly advocating for timely access to tests and treatment for every person with a suspected cancer in Ireland, and has recently called for significant investment in cancer services and the National Cancer Strategy to deliver this.