Saolta seeks independent review into new delayed cancer diagnosis cases

Saolta has confirmed that they have sought an independent external review of the care provided to three additional patients with cancer of the endometrium who attended the gynaecology service at Letterkenny University Hospital.

This is separate to an independent review into gynaecology services at Letterkenny University Hospital commissioned in November 2019.

38 women have already been identified as being impacted by issues at the hospital's Gynaecology Department, waiting over 100 days for a diagnosis or treatment.

In a statement the Saolta Hospital Group says one of the three cases has had an external reviewer appointed and a formal process necessary to appoint an external reviewer for the remaining two cases is underway.

They say patients and families involved with be communicated with directly.

A Special Measures Team, have been on site since early July to support and oversee the implementation plan to address the recommendations in the report to ensure clear pathways and processes are in place to ensure women are seen, investigated and managed in a timely way.

In addition, the hospital group will be ensuring a robust process is in place involving continuous audit and review of performance data.

Planning is currently underway for a new ambulatory gynaecology service to start early next year and for additional gynaecology operative sessions; clinical validation of waiting lists is on-going while waiting lists are reducing, a Multi-disciplinary Team meeting has commenced and new patient information leaflets are available.

The hospital has restructured its processes for triaging patients and assigning appointments, the recruitment process for additional staff has commenced, additional gynaecology clinics are taking place weekly, and work has begun on commissioning an additional dedicated maternity theatre.