A public demonstation is due to take outside University Hospital Limerick this weekend, in protest over the provision of services for people with diabetes in this region.
The event, organised by the Midwest Diabetes Group, takes place on sunday to coincide with World Diabetes Day.
The UL Hospital Group says it acknowledges the need for additional resources within adult diabetic services and that it’s committed to improving the service for patients.
They say funding has been received to recruit for a number of posts and a recruitment process is currently underway.
Gráinne Flynn, who’s a Type One Diabetic, runs the Clare support group for people with the condition and says not having services in place is having a big impact here and across the region.
Statement from the UL Hospitals Group
We recognise the need for additional resources within our adult diabetic services. This issue is a core focus for UL Hospitals Group and we are committed to improving the service for our patients. Developing services around insulin pump therapy and structured education in particular require us to fill further specialist posts, including nursing and dietitian posts.
While there is a specialist dietitian working with our paediatric diabetes patients, there is currently no specialist dietitian in post for adults with Type 1 Diabetes. Patients are seen by a ward dietitian as in-patients but there is no specialist dietetic care or outpatient appointments for adult diabetes patients in UHL.
Currently, the adult service in UHL is unable to commence adult patients on insulin pumps due to service demands. We do, however, accept patients established on pumps from elsewhere and these patients are managed under the care of a consultant endocrinologist. The largest group of these patients are those who have transferred from the paediatric diabetes service in UHL. All of our insulin pump patients are seen in University Hospital Limerick. At present, there are currently 51 patients within our Adult Diabetes Service using insulin pump therapy.
In December 2020, we received confirmation of funding to recruit three additional dietetic posts for the treatment of adult diabetes. This funding has been made available through the national clinical programme for diabetes. These posts include two senior dieticians and one staff grade dietician. The recruitment process for the two senior dieticians is at an advanced stage. The recruitment process is also ongoing for the staff grade dietician. We will be able to provide a more precise timeline on when we expect successful candidates to take up posts in the near future.
A second consultant endocrinologist took up post in October 2020. Two further consultant endocrinology posts have been approved for University Hospital Limerick. These posts are currently being progressed through the approved HR process. It is not possible at this time to give a definitive timeline as to when these posts will be filled.
The Adult Diabetes Service is also supported by a dedicated team of Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS) and Staff Nurses. Four Diabetic CNS posts have also been approved for University Hospital Limerick. Of these, two have been recruited and will commence post over the coming months, the recruitment campaign is currently ongoing for the other CNS posts. There are also two Diabetic Staff Nurse positions within the Diabetes Unit at UHL, both of these positions have been filled.