‘Don’t overlook Letterkenny’ -McConalogue

Changing Letterkenny hospital to regional status could be critical in securing paediatric and adolescent diabetes services, according to one Inishowen TD.

Donegal North East Fianna Fáil TD Charlie McConalogue has said that upgrading Letterkenny General Hospital to a Regional Hospital could significantly improve its chances of securing vital additional services, particularly for paediatric and adolescent patients with diabetes.

Deputy McConalogue said, “The National Clinical Programme for Diabetes was established by the HSE in 2010 to consider how diabetic clinical services should be delivered, resourced and organised. They are currently considering two proposed models of diabetes care to improve the situation for paediatric patients.

“One of these proposes that care be centralised for each region in a dedicated paediatric/adolescent diabetes centre, ideally at a regional hospital that has an adult diabetes centre to facilitate transition to adulthood. This model was put forward by an Expert Advisory Group, chaired by Dr. Colm Costigan, Paediatric Endocrinologist in Crumlin Hospital. The other proposal also is centred around 8-10 regional networks and was proposed by the Diabetes Federation of Ireland”.

The Carndonagh man said according to Health Minister Reilly, the national clinical experts for diabetes and paediatrics are to meet in the next couple of weeks to assess current services across the country and to agree a model of care

“I don’t want Letterkenny General Hospital to be overlooked as a potential location for these services just because Minister Reilly appears to be dragging his heels on designating Letterkenny General as a regional hospital.”

The Inishowen TD, who is the Fianna Fail spokesperson for children, said the fact adult services for diabetes patients are currently delivered from Letterkenny General should help facilitate the transition into childhood and adolescaent care.

“Given that the HSE will be meeting in the next couple of weeks to agree a model to pursue, I have contacted Minister Reilly to urge him to upgrade Letterkenny General’s status in the hope that it will put the hospital in a position to effectively compete for these services,” concluded Deputy McConalogue.