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Further improvements in governance ‘needed at Letterkenny University Hospital to safeguard women’ – HIQA

HIQA has said further improvements are needed in the governance and management of gynaecology services at Letterkenny University Hospital, Co Donegal to ensure the quality of the services and safety of women accessing those services.

Following a series of concerns about the quality and safety of gynaecology services at Letterkenny University Hospital, HIQA undertook a review of the governance arrangements of the services at the hospital, Saolta University Health Care Group (Saolta Group) and national HSE level.

 “A number of women and families raised concerns with us about gynaecology services at the hospital over the past few years,” said  HIQA’s Director of Healthcare Regulation Mr Sean Egan.

In regards the review Mr Egan said that “Despite the number of initiatives and measures introduced by Saolta Group since 2018, HIQA was not assured that there were sufficient and effective governance and oversight arrangements in place to assure the quality and safety of gynaecology services, which posed a risk to women using the services.”

“Strong and effective governance, leadership and management is needed at the hospital and hospital group to ensure and promote high-quality, safe and reliable services and establish and sustain a culture of patient safety.

“While some measures introduced at the hospital had brought about improvements, such as a new ambulatory (outpatient) gynaecology service, revised procedures for the review and triage of referrals and a decline in waiting lists numbers for women trying to access gynaecology services, these must be sustained in the long term so that women who use and depend on the service can be confident about its quality and safety. If this is not achieved, the HSE should hold Saolta Group to account.”

Full review can be found at https://www.hiqa.ie/reports-and-publications/key-reports-investigations/review-governance-arrangements-gynaecology

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