The transfer of sterilisation services from Roscommon University Hospital to Portiuncula has cost almost €100,000 in10 months.
Following critical HIQA reports of the Central Sterile Services Department facilities at the hospital it was acknowledged that an upgrade to the department was required to meet current decontamination standards.
It was decided that equipment from Roscommon would be sterilised at Portiuncula and returned to Roscommon University Hospital as an interim measure. An upgraded department at the hospital was also included in the Government’s multi-billion euro National Development Plan.
According to information released through the Freedom of Information Act, €90,698 has been spent by the HSE since the transfer of department services to the east Galway hospital at the end of September last.
This includes equipment costs of €62,987 and transport costs of €27,711. The company hired to transport equipment to and from Ballinasloe is Medlab Pathology Ltd.
The HSE declined to release a copy of the planned updated department project brief, which was submitted to the National Capital and Property Steering Group, saying the project brief was a proposal and not yet approved.
Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice, who raised the issue last year, said that he was very concerned about the continued absence of department services at Roscommon.
“It would be an advantage to Roscommon hospital to have the department there,” he said. He said he was not hopeful that the department would be reopened soon.
“It’s like everything the Government is doing at the moment. Things are being pushed out, it won’t make decisions because of the over-run at the New Children’s Hospital. This is having an impact on patients and the health service throughout the country.”
The Saolta University Health Care Group was contacted for comment but none was received before going to print.