Staff shortages hitting St Luke’s

We have been informed that there is a backlog of outgoing post as administrative staff who have left or who have been moved to James’ and Beaumont have not been replaced. This is also affecting incoming telephone calls.  There is a message on the phones in at least one Dept that ‘due to staff shortages we cannot take your call.’  An urgent message left by one person who contacted us had not been returned in over 24 hours.

We tried to contact management about this yesterday but the relevant person is on holiday until Monday.

Administrative staff are part of the team and this situation (probably replicated in public hospitals everywhere)  has serious implications for patient safety.

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Minutes of meeting with Dr James Reilly on June 9, 2011

To read the detailed minutes of the campaign’s recent meeting with Health Minister, Dr James Reilly, click on the link.

Dail Meeting

Pictured in the Dail after St Luke's meeting L-R Kevin Humphreys TD, Enid O'Dowd, Dr James Reilly,Minister for Health, Joe Guilfoyle, Lucinda Creighton TD

Let us know what you think about what the Minister said – email us at

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Campaign meeting with Dr Reilly postponed

Unfortunately Dr Reilly had to cancel the meeting with the Campaign scheduled for today May 31.  the meeting will now take place on June 9th.

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Annual Luke’s patients and supporters reunion

The annual reunion was held at the Great Northern Hotel, Bundoran May 19-22.

See Gallery for pictures of the event.

At dinner on May 20th Chairman of the Save St Luke’s Campaign Joe Guilfoyle made presentations to Noelle Duddy from Cancer Care North for her work for cancer services in her region. He also made a presentation to Phyllis Moran to commemorate the St Luke’s fundraising work of her late husband Wille Moran.

Dinner was followed by dancing to Muriel O’Connor and then to Mike Denver and his band.
Photos of the night have been added to the gallery
The presentations and some raffle prizes were kindly sponsored by Penrose Crystal in Waterford.

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Meeting date with Dr Reilly confirmed

Representatives of the Save St Luke’s committee will meet Dr James Reilly at the Dail on Tuesday May 31st.  The meeting was arranged by Lucinda Creighton TD.

It is vital that Luke’s supporters continue to write/email Minister Reilly asking him to save St Luke’s.  Apparently St Luke’s is not on the list of Harney closures/reconfigurations to be reviewed by the new Minister. Some staff at Luke’s have moved and 4 linear accelerators there may have been ‘retired’ – but we are not sure because the Hospital Manager is not answering our questions.

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Medical cards and cancer patients

The Campaign would like to hear from Cancer patients who have applied for medical cards. There appears to be inconsistency in how the ‘rules’ which are unclear anyway are applied.  We now of a cancer patient who was given a card without being asked about his income, we know of others, over the usual limits who got cards but others who were not successful. It appears that these cards are discretionary and it depends on who assesses your application.  This is not right.  Email us at with your experience of medical card applications.

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Ciaran Corry RIP

Luke’s Campaigner Ciaran Corry died last night (April 26) in Letterkenny after a long battle with cancer.

Our thoughts go to his partner Ger and his three sons at this difficult time.

Ciaran wrote his story for the Campaign book Cancer in a cold climate:the shafting of St Luke’s Hospital. It is one of the most moving stories in the book.

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Is St Luke’s on the list of projects on hold?

Dr James Reilly the new Minister for Health announced that a number of hospitals due to close or to be ‘reconfigured’ (whatever that means!) under the Harney regime would be put on hold pending review of the original decision on a case by case basis.

Terence Flanagan TD put down a Dail question as to whether St Luke’s is one of the hospitals on the hold for review list but the official reply provided does not answer the question.  He put in the question again, and got the same waffle.

Is this a civil servant just providing the same waffle regardless of the actual question when TDs raise parliamentary questions about St Luke’s – or is this FG betraying St Luke’s despite support for the campaign before the election?

Below the ‘reply’ received by Deputy Flanagan -

DÁIL QUESTION addressed to the Minister for Health and Children (Dr. James Reilly )
by Deputy Terence Flanagan
for WRITTEN ANSWER on 14/04/2011

*  To ask the Minister for Health and Children if the phasing out and closure of St. Luke’s Cancer Hospital is one of the projects he has put on hold pending review; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Terence Flanagan T.D.

St Luke’s Hospital, which provides only radiation oncology services, was subsumed into the Health Service Executive under the Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2010 (No. 18 of 2010).   Radiation oncology services will continue at St Luke’s until at least 2015, when further radiation oncology capacity will be available at Beaumont and St James’s.  This decision is based on expert advice and is designed to ensure that radiation oncology is integrated with all other aspects of cancer care, including surgery and medical oncology.  It is also in line with best international practice.

The existing radiotherapy centre at St Luke’s, plus the new centres at Beaumont and St James’s Hospitals, have together become the St Luke’s Radiation Oncology Network with some staff and resources now transferred from St Luke’s to the new centres. The first patients were seen at Beaumont on 28 March, while St James’s is due to begin seeing patients this month.

In relation to the future use of  the St Luke’s site I can confirm that the legislation provides for the future use of the site as a health facility and states that the HSE may not sell or dispose of St Luke’s or any land on the site, without my consent.

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St Luke’s supporters get together in Donegal

Contact Joe Guilfoyle 051 376461 for information.  Dates May 19-22 in Bundoran.  Outings and entertainment as well as great craic.

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Campaign requests meeting with new health Minister Dr James Reilly

The Campaign has asked Dublin South East TD Lucinda Creighton to arrange a meeting for the committee with Dr James Reilly.  Luke’s supporters are asked to email Minister Reilly at and/or at minister’ asking him to save St Luke’s, and if you have been a patient at Luke’s,  tell him about your experience there.

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