Sligo University Hospital Update on Type 1 Diabetes Services

Following frustration with local diabetes services, Chairperson of Diabetes Ireland’s Sligo branch, Ms Suzanne Donnelly publicly highlighted the lack of support provided to the diabetes team working tirelessly in Sligo University Hospital by hospital management.


Last week her frustration reached the floor of the Dail chamber as Martin Kenny TD raised the issue with the Minister for Health.  Click on the following link:


Diabetes Ireland welcomes the opportunity to meet with the Minister for Health, local Oireachtas Members and Hospital Management with a view to resolving the issue.




People with Type 1 diabetes must attend specialist hospital services for the medical management of their condition and to support their daily best self-management practices.   Type 1 diabetes is a condition whereby the insulin producing cells in the body are killed off by the body’s own defence system and is currently not preventable but treatment with insulin is life preserving and hourly monitoring is needed to prevent loss of limb, eyesight, mortality and hospitalisations. Insulin is needed to properly use sugars. Lack of insulin causes too much glucose (sugars) to accumulate in the blood and cause damage. Therefore, there is constant balance needed of insulin in (must be injection/pump) and glucose intake and usage. This is complicated by many factors such as exercise, food intake, stress, illness etc. Type 1 diabetes management is medically prescribed insulin through injection or pump balanced against daily self-management/ monitoring. The specialist hospital team support the individual to maximise their diabetes control.



The diabetes team in Sligo University Hospital have identified 30 individuals who require access to continuous insulin administration (PUMP therapy) to maximise their diabetes control.   These 30 individuals cannot get training to use a PUMP in Sligo University Hospital and hence are not getting the care medically prescribed for them resulting in their increased risk of hospitalisation, loss of eyesight/limb, morbidity and mortality.



Why has the problem developed?

Sligo University Hospital have not replaced specialist dietitians currently on maternity leave and have no dedicated PUMP nurse.   The effect on the diabetes service is no access to dietetic education for many people with diabetes but for the 30 people waiting to commence PUMP usage, no PUMP.   Ms Suzanne Donnelly was prescribed PUMP therapy but can not avail of it as the necessary training could not be delivered due to no dietetic cover and limited nursing