Kerry hospital helpline contacted by almost 550 people

Michael Healy-Rae says he is concerned about ‘mental anguish’ of 27,000 patients

Radiographers’ representatives have insisted  there were “deeply rooted” issues within the radiology department at University Hospital Kerry  for more than a year. Photograph: Getty Images

Radiographers’ representatives have insisted there were “deeply rooted” issues within the radiology department at University Hospital Kerry for more than a year. Photograph: Getty Images

 

Almost 550 people have contacted the University Hospital Kerry helpline set up to address public concerns about a review of tens of thousand of scans, X-rays and ultrasound images under way at the Tralee facility.

The review of 46,000 images of almost 27,000 patients began in October after cancer misdiagnoses came to light two months previously. In all seven serious misdiagnoses have been identified before October.

About half of the 46,000 images have now been viewed by a team of up to 10 external consultant radiologists, who are working backwards from July 2017 to March 2016 – the period of employment of a consultant radiologist at the centre of the review. Over 20 patients have been recalled.

Kerry TD Michael Healy-Rae said he was concerned about the “mental anguish” of the 27,000 patients at the centre of the review.

Extra radiologists have been assigned since the news broke on Sunday.

“Six weeks is a long time to wait. More resources should be put in place at once. There is a lot of anxiety out there,” the Independent TD said.

Senior HSE personnel have insisted the current crisis at the hospital, which is seeing one of the biggest ever look-backs in radiology, relates to an individual consultant radiologist. However, radiographers’ representatives insisted on Wednesday night there were “deeply rooted” issues within the busy radiology department at the hospital for more than a year.

Sources referred to a “caustic environment” in which the concerns of radiographers were being ignored.