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Streamlined care for kidney patients 29.02.08

INISHOWEN kidney patients are benefiting from a unique project that sees Letterkenny General Hospital share data and expertise with five other hospitals along the border.
The cross border health services partnership Co-operation and Working Together (CAWT), has helped six hospitals to install common specialised information systems so they can share data to assist in the treatment and care of kidney disease patients who live along the border.
The five other hospital partners in the EU-funded scheme are: Altnagelvin Hospital, Derry; Tyrone County Hospital, Omagh; Cavan General Hospital; Sligo General Hospital and Daisy Hill Hospital, Newry.
The project co-ordinators anticipate a rising demand for 
Letterkenny General Hospital.
dialysis services as the population ages.
Project chairperson, Dr. Peter Garrett from the Western Health and Social Care Trust in Northern Ireland explained: “The project has demonstrated the value of collaboration by revealing good practice as well as areas for improvement that can now be addressed, enhancing the quality of patient care. Further benefit can be realised by extending the project beyond the border region with the aim of achieving an all-island renal registry.
Dr. Austin Stack from the Health Service Executive West, outlined some implications of the project findings. He said the CAWT Renal Project had provided a new approach to managing patients with kidney disease in the border region.
"It allows us monitor the clinical health of the patient through their period on dialysis, evaluate the quality of care provided to patients and identify barriers or areas for improvement in care delivered," he said.
Special EU Programmes Body chief executive, Pat Colgan praised the success of the project to date. “This project signifies what the EU INTERREG programme is all about - cross border co-operation to improve services to people living in the border region.
"It is very encouraging to hear about the good work completed and that the hospitals involved will continue to work together," said Mr. Colgan.
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