McNamara highlights Ennis radiography service concerns with HSE

Independent Clare TD Michael McNamara says he has received assurances from the UL Hospitals Group that the radiography service at Ennis Hospital will continue to operate at full capacity, despite almost half of the approved radiographer positions for the Clare facility remaining unfilled.

There are currently 10.7 WTE radiographers approved for Ennis Hospital, of which 5.9 WTE are in place.

“The Radiology Department at Ennis Hospital provides a range of services, including Ultrasound, CT scans and x-ray. It is critical therefore, that staffing levels are sufficient to ensure that the service operates to full capacity,” stated Deputy McNamara.

“The UL Hospitals Group has informed me that 4.9 WTE radiographers are available to cover out-of-hours services and that an additional Sonographer is due to commence at Ennis Hospital at the end of December,” he added.

Deputy McNamara continued, “The HSE has confirmed to me that recruitment is ongoing to address other shortfalls within the service and that efforts are continuing to secure locum for the service to ensure that it can operate at full capacity. It is critically important however, that the remaining full-time radiographer positions are filled without delay.”

In its answer to Deputy McNamara’s Parliamentary Question on the matter, the UL Hospital’s Group noted that GPs have increased access to radiology diagnostics under the Community Diagnostics Programme and that increased access to diagnostic services for the diagnosis and management of chronic disease in primary care is a “key goal” of the Sláintecare Programme.

“By increasing GP access to scans, diagnostics capacity in the community is increased and hospital avoidance can be facilitated,” the response concluded.