Flooding repairs at Letterkenny hospital to take months

More than 40 per cent of hospital was flooded last week

Flooding is seen inside Letterkenny General Hospital last week. More than 40 per cent of the hospital suffered water damage. Photograph: Donegal Daily

Flooding is seen inside Letterkenny General Hospital last week. More than 40 per cent of the hospital suffered water damage. Photograph: Donegal Daily

Tue, Jul 30, 2013, 16:20

The general manager of Letterkenny General Hospital has promised to build a better hospital in the wake of last week’s flooding which severely damaged the current facility.

Speaking at the first press conference since Friday’s disaster, Mr Sean Murphy admitted that the hospital faces a huge challenge.

But he assured staff that all their jobs were safe despite the need to downgrade services.

He also said they were working as fast as they can to rebuild those services

“We are trying out best aided by an amazing response from our staff but it will take several months to get everything back to normal.

“That doesn’t mean that we will have no services or that we will have no emergency services for several months.

“But we have lost a significant proportion of our hospital. About 40 per cent of our hospital has been flooded with contaminated water and that doesn’t mean it can be addressed with a mopping up operation,” he said.

Paul Connors, HSE director of communications, said an external investigation carried out by a group of civil engineers was now being carried out as to why the flooding occurred.

Mr Murphy said they were working on setting up a temporary accident and emergency department but could not say when this would open to the public.

He singled out the radiotherapy unit as being the most severely hit area.

“We have virtually no radiological capacity but as we speak truck are trundling across Ireland and the UK to get that capacity back up,” he said.

But he said several services such as the fracture clinic has now been transferred to a HSE facility in Donegal town.

At present people with medical issues from across Donegal are being sent to Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry and Sligo General Hospital.

However, both are finding it difficult to cope with the increase patient-load.

Dr Paul O’Connor, Head of Clinical Services at Letterkenny General Hospital, advised people to go to their local GP if they have an issue and they will advise them from there.