Concern over future of ante-natal clinics in Inishowen

Concern has been expressed over the future of ante-natal clinics in Inishowen after the Saolta University Healthcare Group confirmed to the ‘Journal’ that a number have been cancelled due to low numbers attending.

Tuesday, 29th January 2019, 10:30 am
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 7:32 pm
Concern surrounds the future of ante-natal clinics in Inishowen.

A spokesperson for the group, which oversees Letterkenny University Hospital, confirmed the clinics in Buncrana and Carndonagh had not ceased, but that “from time to time clinics are cancelled due to low numbers attending i.e. two to three patients.”

They added: “There have been many changes in improving antenatal care. These include, anomaly scanning, prophylactic Anti D, Glucose Tolerance Screening, targeted High Risk Clinics such as Diabetic Clinics. A significant proportion of mothers have core morbidities that require specialised care which is delivered in LUH. It is envisaged in the future these clinics will be Midwifery Led working towards compliance with the Maternity Strategy.”

However, Donegal County Councillor Nicholas Crossan said he has concerns the cancellations will lead to a permanent cessation of the service. He said Inishowen women, who would not need to attend Letterkenny hospital, cannot be expected to travel the long distance to Letterkenny for all clinics.

He said: “I don’t think there should be any cancellations at all. No-one should have to travel an 80k round trip or more to attend antenatal clinics, if they don’t need to. There is limited public transport to Letterkenny, people will have to take longer off work to attend appointments or find more child care for their other children in order for them to take the time to attend clinics further away.”

Colr Crossan said Independent Senator Victor Boyhan will be making representations to the HSE on his behalf over the future of the ante-natal clinics in Inishowen, as well as the HSE’s plans to find a suitable location for the clinics affected due to the fire at the HSE building in Buncrana.