Council Demands Action On Diabetes Services For Clare Patients

Photo © Pat Flynn

Diabetes services for Clare patients have been criticised as appalling and archaic.

Clare County Council has heard of a significant staff shortage for consultants, nurses and dietitians to support MidWest patients with diabetes, and patients who are lacking supports are suffering as a result.

The local authority is calling on the Health Minister Simon Harris to address staffing shortages for diabetes services in the UL Hospitals Group.


The Group itself has stated that staffing deficits are acknowledged and insists they are being addressed, but Ennis Fine Gael Councillor Mary Howard says much more is needed.

ULHG Statement on Diabetes

Originally issued in July – re-issued to Clare FM yesterday following request

The staffing deficits identified by Diabetes Ireland are acknowledged and addressing these deficits remains a priority for UL Hospitals Group.

There is currently 1.0 WTE consultant endocrinologist in the group with adult diabetic patients. A second consultant position is currently being advertised. Our services are also supported by a dedicated team of clinical nurse specialists in diabetes. In addition there are three podiatrists working in diabetic foot care.

There are two consultants and a specialist dietitian working with our paediatric diabetes patients. However, there is currently no specialist dietitian in post for adults with Type 1 Diabetes. Approval will be required nationally before we can progress recruitment for this post. UL Hospitals Group has identified this as a significant gap in our service and we are committed to addressing this.

This staffing deficit in respect of the specialist dietitian is one of the main reasons why ULHG does not start adult patients on insulin pumps. We do, however, accept patients established on pumps from elsewhere and these patients are managed under the care of the 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 UHL.

Please note that Ennis, Nenagh and St John’s hospitals are model 2 hospitals. While UL Hospitals Group is aware of model 3 hospitals which provide insulin pump therapy, we are not aware of any model 2 hospitals which do so. Croom is a specialist orthopaedic hospital which does not treat any medical patients.

OPD diabetic clinics take place in Ennis, Nenagh, and St John’s Hospital as well as UHL. There is an average of two diabetic clinics per week across ULHG.