THE WESTERN Trust is working to tackle a serious backlog in diagnostic imaging appointments, which has built up since the scans were suspended during the first lockdown.
As part of this, the Trust in the process of increasing its MRI capacity at SWAH to a seven day a week service, hiring two additional radiographers. However, this will not be in place for several months and in the mean time local patients may have to travel.
A spokeswoman for the Trust said it had received additional funding and was currently working with the rest of the health service to restore radiology waiting lists to what they were prior to the Covid pandemic.
The spokeswoman warned, though, that even with these efforts there will still be delays for patients due to increased cleaning procedures, social distancing, and other necessary safety measures, as well as staffing shortages due to self-isolation and sickness.
As part a result of the current situation, Fermanagh patients may not be able to get their MRI scans at SWAH and may have to travel to Altnagelvin, for now at least.
“Previously the Trust endeavoured to deliver care as close to the patient’s home address as possible,” said the spokeswoman. “However, in light of the aforementioned issues the Trust must now (temporarily) adopt a position where it may be necessary to ask some patients to travel to access MRI scanning.”
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