Concern as services for patients 'stripped back'
A mature student who received a pancreas and kidney transplant at Beaumont Hospital has told of her concerns at how services are being "stripped" back for patients.
Elaine Battersby (39) from Kells, Co Meath, said that pancreas transplant services have been stripped back at the hospital since the retirement of David Hickey, the former director of the national pancreas transplant programme.
Under a new arrangement, pancreas-only transplants will be carried out by a St Vincent's University Hospital team. It's hoped a commencement date will be agreed shortly.
Elaine received a pancreas and kidney transplant five years ago. She had been on dialysis for two years prior to the transplant and said that it was a life-saver.
"I suffered from Type One diabetes since I was 11. My transplant went brilliantly thanks to the care I received at Beaumont," said Elaine.
"They took a medical and surgical approach combined. We had a great support team," she said.
"I think they should be trying to recruit a new pancreas transplant surgeon."
A public meeting for concerned patients will be held at Liberty Hall on June 27 at 1.30pm, she told the Herald.
Meanwhile, the Irish Kidney Association (IKA) said it has concerns surrounding the access, for all kidney and combined kidney and pancreas transplanted patients, to specialist aftercare services.
It said patients who have received combined kidney and pancreas transplants are "confused and uncertain of their future care".
Eighty such patients were attending their post-transplant clinic in Beaumont Hospital up until recently. This specialist outpatient clinic has now ceased, it said.
Beaumont and St Vincent's hospitals have agreed to develop a "collaborative approach" to pancreas transplant, a statement from Beaumont said.
"The details of this arrangement have been communicated to all patients awaiting pancreas transplant," it said.
"As the majority of cases are simultaneous pancreas and kidney transplants, the two teams will carry out such transplants in collaboration.
"Pancreas-only transplants will be carried out by the St. Vincent's team."
Both of the transplant programmes have consultant surgeons of "exceptional skill".