Concerns raised as Tallaght University Hospital had no operational CAT scanner

By Mary Dennehy

TALLAGHT University Hospital, one of the country’s busiest health facilities, had no operational CT scanner on site recently.

The local hospital has two CT (CAT) scanners, however, one of the scanners is undergoing replacement and the second experienced “technical difficulties” recently – resulting in no CT scanner on site.

Tallaght Hospital 03

In a reply to a parliamentary question by Dublin South West TD, Sean Crowe (Sinn Fein), it was confirmed that the CT scanner being replaced broke down in July - and resulted in 47 patients to date being sent to a private provider for cardiac CT's. 

In a statement to The Echo, a spokesperson for Tallaght University Hospital (TUH) said: “Tallaght University Hospital has two CT scanners one of which is currently undergoing replacement.

“In order to maintain current service requirements during this commissioning period, routine outpatient CT scanning is being outsourced to a private provider.

“Unfortunately the hospital also experienced technical difficulties with its second scanner last week which led to some delays for patients but this issue has now been resolved.”

The new scanner is due to be operational on Monday, October 8. 

Triona Murphy, Chairperson of Tallaght Hospital Action Group (THAG), told The Echo that they had been contacted by members of the public concerning delays with CT scans prior to the second scanner experiencing technical difficulties recently.

“One CT scanner for a hospital that is this busy and with its population catchment is not enough,” Ms Murphy said.

“And this was very evident last week when the only operational CT scanner went down and the hospital was left with no scanning equipment.”

Concerns were raised

According to Ms Murphy, the hospital is forced to outsource patients for CT scans due to a lack of its own scanners, which is delaying the waiting times for some patients.

“Concerns were raised with us due to delays [with CT scans] prior to the second scanner going down,” Ms Murphy said.

“One patient within the community [who was sent to a private provider by the hospital] experienced a ten-week delay.

“A CT scan is a step up from an ordinary X-ray and is recommended when there are symptoms that need to be checked out.”

She added: “The hospital is doing the best it can but it sounds like some of its machinery is coming close on obsolete.

“Is this a case of our hospital being starved of capital funding from the HSE?

“If so, we’d be asking the HSE to fund our hospital please!”

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