CUH Cancer service creeking under pressure

Cork University Hospital

Labour TD Kathleen Lynch and her colleague Cllr Catherine Clancy will be among a group of women who will meet with Cork University Hospital management today to discuss the recent report by the Health Information Quality Authority (HIQA) which has found that the CUH Breast Cancer Unit is struggling to meet demands placed upon it because of the increased workload.

Speaking ahead of the meeting Kathleen Lynch said: “Before the reconfiguration of breast cancer services from the South Infirmary Victoria Hospital (SIVUH) to the CUH took place, myself and other campaigners put on the record, our serious misgivings about how it would impact on the delivery of cancer services at local level, Unfortunately, as we see in this HIQA report, our concerns were well founded.

“We were particularly concerned that any tampering with the service could result in a disimprovement in patient care, and it seems that this is what has happened.

“The service provided at the Unit is first rate, but there are serious and growing problems for patients getting access to treatment, problems that have come about since the centralisation of services last year.

“Before the service moved, the unit had regularly met their target timelines for patient waits-with 98%of urgent cases been seen within 10 days of receipt of referral. However, statistics show that by July of this year the figure has fallen to 90%.

“At our meeting today we will be seeking answers as to why a number of assurances that we had received at previous meetings were not delivered upon. All stakeholders, after some misgiving, have bought into the plan for a centre of excellence for breast cancer patients at the CUH. Such a service is in all our interest and anything short of this is not acceptable.”

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