CAMPAIGNERS fighting to
keep the colposcopy service at Letterkenny Hospital
have received a boost with news that the national
cervical screening service CervicalCheck may in
future make referrals to the local clinic.
Co-operating for Cancer Care (NW) is highly
optimistic that, following discussions with
CervicalCheck ceo Tony O’Brien and hospital manager
Seán Murphy, CervicalCheck may be in a position to
make referrals to the Colposcopy Clinic.
The group said it was "dismayed and alarmed" that
Letterkenny was not included as one of the
facilities initially identified to receive referrals
from the programme. This would mean that women from
Donegal who require colposcopy treatment would be
expected to travel to Sligo Hospital.
CCC(NW) spokesperson Noelle Duddy explained: “Two of
the most important aspects of any successful
screening programme is to motivate the person to
attend screening and follow-up treatment if
required, and to make accessing the service as easy
and as uncomplicated as possible.
"The travel distance from North Inishowen to Sligo,
is approximately a 240 mile return journey and has
the potential of deterring women from availing of
this vital and much needed service. We need
CervicalCheck to make referrals to colposcopy
services at Letterkenny General Hospital."
CCC(NW) understands that the National Cervical
Screening Programme requires Letterkenny Hospital to
make adjustments to enhance the current colposcopy
services. This is to ensure the delivery of a
standardised level of quality assured care which
meets the requirements of the screening service.
CCC(NW) said it has been assured by Mr O’Brien and
Mr Murphy that both organisations are currently
examining these issues together.
“It is of the utmost importance to the women of
Donegal, that the issues pertaining to the delay in
providing colposcopy services for CervicalCheck at
Letterkenny, are addressed as soon as possible.”
CCC(NW) encouraged women eligible for the service to
register for it and avail of it straight away.
The campaign group said it would continue to
communicate with both parties to ensure that the
needs of Donegal women were given priority