In February, the hospital’s Laboratory Manager, Dr Grace Creedon, issued a notice to all GPs in the region regarding requests for routine blood tests on Fridays.
Ms Creedon wrote that “due to the increasing numbers of samples received into the department, we are now only in a position to accept urgent and priority requests on Fridays”.
“Please do not send routine tests for biochemistry, haematology and microbiology on Fridays, as we cannot ensure that these tests will be processed in a timely manner. Delays in processing will render certain tests unsuitable for analysis. This will then result in repeat testing if required,” she added.
On Twitter, a local GP complained about the development and claimed that the hospital was operating a three-and-a-half day laboratory service for GPs in the county.
The GP stated on Twitter: “No longer processing routine Fri GP bloods with knock-on effect to Thurs afternoon bloods which go on Fri, creating more demand on apt times. Pts not getting an adequate service [sic].”
Speaking to this newspaper, Kerry GP Dr Eamonn Shanahan said that GPs are continuing to send bloods to the hospital on Fridays, but that clearly the department is experiencing a “resourcing problem”.
“The answer is, there has been no change. The service is not restricted and we are still sending samples in on Fridays but it is clear there is a resourcing problem in the hospital,” Dr Shanahan explained.
The Kerry Faculty of the ICGP has written to the hospital seeking further clarity on the matter, but has yet to receive a response, Dr Shanahan stated.
“This is a local issue being dealt with by the local faculty,” he added.