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Funding granted for state of the art X-ray machines at Donegal Community Hospitals

Following a submission to the Department of Health in 2016 funding of €900,000  has been granted to upgrade x-ray equipment in four Donegal Community Hospitals;  x-ray facilities in Donegal Town, Killybegs, Dungloe and Carndonagh Community Hospitals.  

X-ray facilities are also now available at the Ballyshannon Health Campus.  The community x-ray service was first developed over 30 years ago as part of a strategy to provide timely and accessible services to rural populations. The existing community x-ray facilities will now be upgraded with modern digital x-ray equipment which will be linked with Letterkenny and Sligo University Hospitals.  It is envisaged that the new digital x-ray machines will improve patient throughput.  In addition, the new equipment will produce higher quality X-ray images with a reduction in patient radiation exposure.

Mr. John Hayes, Chief Officer for HSE Community Healthcare Organisation Area 1 which covers Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Cavan and Monaghan said ‘This new equipment will mean these rural communities will have access to the very latest x-ray equipment which will mean they don’t have to travel to Letterkenny or Sligo for x-ray. The x-rays will be sent electronically to the hospitals where they will be read and reported on by Consultant Radiologists, the reports will then be sent back to the patient’s GP.’

Killbegs Community Hospital will be the first hospital to have the new digital x-ray equipment installed.  The space in the hospital for x-ray is being refurbished and reconfigured to accommodate the new equipment.  A period of time is then required to remove the old equipment, install the new equipment and carry out its commissioning, testing and training.  Therefore the X-Ray Department at Killybegs  will be temporarily closed from 15th June 2017 until 15th August 2017 approximately.  During this time period patients for x-ray will be referred to Donegal Town Community Hospital where the full normal service for Killybegs area will be provided.  Subsequently the x-ray equipment at Donegal Town Community Hospital will be updated after Killybegs is completed and up and running.

Dr. Robin Singaroyan, Associate Clinical Director for the Radiology Department in  Letterkenny University hospital said  ‘The radiology equipment upgrade at our community hospitals ushers in increased efficiency and safety. The new digital radiography equipment enables radiographers to work faster and safer. The new equipment also significantly reduces radiation dose to the patient with increased image quality '.

The further development of community based diagnostic services, results in improved patient access, efficiency and patient experience. Access to diagnostics in the community also means earlier detection of chronic disease.   This forms part of an overarching Primary Care development strategy which will continue into the future.

The article above is specific to the following Saolta hospitals:: 
Letterkenny University Hospital (LUH)