The Donegal Branch of Diabetes Ireland was shocked today to receive confirmation via SAOLTA, from LUH CEO Sean Murphy to Councillor Gerry McMonagle of the recent resignations of the Consultant Endocrinologists for adult diabetes services in Letterkenny University Hospital.
Paul Gillespie, Chairperson of the Donegal branch, Diabetes Ireland said “It has been confirmed today that the new second Consultant Endocrinologist who only started in LUH a few weeks ago resigned within a few weeks of beginning work at the hospital.
We have also learned, from CEO Sean Murphy via SAOLTA to Councillor McMonagle that the Consultant Endocrinologist who has been in post for many years submitted his resignation and this will leave a huge hole in adult diabetes service provision in LUH. We are very concerned at the speed of both resignations and we are wondering is there a more deeper underlying reason for both these resignations?”
Aware of challenges in the recruitment processes for endocrinologists across the country, Diabetes Ireland is extremely concerned about the care being provided to adults with diabetes in Donegal, (in particular for those who were due to have appointments in the upcoming weeks or months), as well as the unforeseen disruptions this will cause in the delivery of and access to care for people living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes throughout the county.
According to clinical guidelines, an adult with diabetes should have a diabetes appointment every 6 months but LUH has struggled for some years to get the waiting times for diabetes appointments down from 24 months. We are aware that the resident Consultant Endocrinologist has been under huge pressure with inadequate resources and we in the Donegal Branch of Diabetes Ireland have in recent months informed the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD of our concerns on the provision of care in LUH but still await any follow up on improvements.
With no endocrinologists in place, the minimum care provision will not be provided and these unfilled posts will greatly affect the clinical governance and safety of those living with diabetes in the area.
“Of more concern, is the future of the service. How will this impact the clinical governance of the adult diabetes service in LUH? Are we going to see the cancellation of hundreds of appointments while we wait for suitable replacements to be found. We ask the Minister for Health, local politicians, and the National Clinical Programme in Diabetes to come together and work on an immediate, short-term and long-term solution, to minimize the negative consequences of this lack of diabetes care provision in Donegal.” added Paul.