The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) is today launching a review of governance arrangements for gynaecology services at Letterkenny University Hospital.

The review comes after serious concerns were raised about the delay in diagnosing and treating endometrial cancer at the hospital. An independent review was commissioned by the HSE in 2019 to examine the care of women with post-menopausal bleeding. The report was published in July 2020, revealing that 38 women with a diagnosis of endometrial cancer waited longer than 100 days for their diagnosis and treatment.

Seán Murphy, Manager at Letterkenny University Hospital apologised at the time to all women affected and said the gynaecology team would “work hard to make sure that we provide the safest possible gynaecological service to the women of Donegal.”

The new HIQA review, which commences today, aims to ensure the HSE, Saolta University Health Care Group and the hospital are implementing recommendations of the external review into gynaecology service failures.

Sean Egan, HIQA’s Head of Healthcare, said: “It is essential that women accessing gynaecology services are assured that the service is safe and that they are being protected and safeguarded. This review will assess the effectiveness and sustainability of the governance and oversight arrangements to ensure that high-quality gynaecology services are provided at Letterkenny University Hospital.”

HIQA’s review will include an on-site inspection of the service; interviews with key personnel at hospital, hospital group and national HSE level; and a review of documentation.

The review will be completed and published later this year.