Kerry councillor says UHK not having enough radiographers has alarm bells ringing

A Kerry councillor says University Hospital Kerry admitting they don’t have enough radiographers has huge alarm bells ringing.

Fianna Fáil Cllr Norma Foley was responding to a letter from hospital manager Fearghal Grimes to the council.

His letter was in response to one issued by Tralee Municipal District following a motion from Cllr Foley.

The DEXA machine, which measures bone density, has been lying idle at University Hospital Kerry since 2017, as there are no radiographers to operate it; the Friend of University Hospital Kerry fundraised money to buy it.

UHK General Manager Fearghal Grimes says despite recruitment drives, they’ve been unable to recruit a full complement of radiographers, so have been unable to restart the DEXA scan service.

He says Dr Niamh Feely has taken on the role of Clinical Director, and is working to determine when the service can resume.

The hospital is currently seeking suitable staff members, other than radiographers, who could undertake training to use the machine.

Clinical governance in DEXA scanning is being reviewed by government; this is looking at qualifications and categories of staff who may operate the service, as well as consultant-level oversight.

Fearghal Grimes says UHK must ensure governance is robust before resuming the DEXA scan service.

Cllr Norma Foley says this response is hugely disappointing, and called for the council to write back and say they expect enough radiographers to be in place by January.