Saturday 18 August 2018

Collooney site 'not on' as clinic

'Plenty of sites suitable within Sligo area for mobile clinic'

Paul Deering

The relocation of the BreastCheck mobile unit from Sligo to Collooney will not be acceptable according to local councillor Declan Bree.

BreastCheck are pressing ahead with the new location close to the Teeling Centre in Collooney.

Meanwhile, several sites have been offered to BreastCheck in the town after a number of local concerned business people came together along with local authorities.

Cllr Bree said people find it difficult to understand why the National Screening Service has failed to identify a site in the Sligo urban area given the number of suitable locations in the town.

"The National Screening Service has an obligation to ensure that its services are accessible for all eligible women. It is also supposed to have a well developed and standardised approach to selecting potential sites for its mobile screening units.

Last week, Cllr Bree's motion calling on the Minister for Health, the National Screening service and HSE to take all steps necessary to ensure that a site is provided in Sligo town for the BreastCheck mobile screening unit was unanimously passed.

A statement from the National Screening Service says the site in Collooney is situated only a few minutes by public transport from the previous location at Carraroe Retail Park.

It also states that the Collooney site met all the criteria including accessibility and proximity to public transport.

It was pointed out there was a public bus service running every 20 minutes from Sligo to Collooney. Cllr Bree has rejected this and claims the National Screening Service did not make a considerable effort to source a suitable site in Sligo town.

"How can the National Screening Service say that the site at the Teeling Centre, Collooney, meets all criteria including accessibility and proximity to public transport when the reality is any woman who uses public transport to avail of the proposed service in the Teeling Centre will have to traverse a dangerous duel-carriageway on the busiest national primary route in the county and walk to Collooney village to await a bus at McKims or Quigley's or to the Rail Station on the Coolaney Road to avail of the train service.

"A quick examination of Bus Eireann schedules will show that there are only six buses from Sligo which stop in Collooney each day during the required hours," he said.

Cllr Bree said suggested sites include the grounds of Sligo University Hospital, St. John's Hospital, the County Council offices, the former Motor Tax offices/Leader Offices at Cleveragh Road, the grounds of the Nazareth House, the grounds at the rear of the Sligo School Project.

"The National Screening Service is supposed to have a well developed and standardised approach to selecting potential sites for its mobile screening units. But here we have a case of the National Screening Service ignoring its own criteria. We now need a commitment that a suitable site will be found in Sligo town urgently."

Sligo Champion