HSE

  • Solicitor David O'Malley joined us on the Tommy Marren Show recently to discuss the issue of candour and how the HSE is failing grieving families with legitimate claims through long drawn out legal proceedings. Listen back to this interesting and important discussion now.

     

     

  • With HSE services in Galway, Mayo and Roscommon returning to normal, the Saolta University Health Care Group and the HSE’s Community Healthcare Organisation Area 2 have thanked  the public for its support and understanding during the recent severe weather.

    In a statement released today they say they would like to thank, most sincerely, staff who went above and beyond to continue to deliver patient care during some very challenging days.

    Many staff had to put the service needs first above their own personal and family needs during this period and for this we are very grateful.

    The group also acknowledge the support of the National Ambulance Service, the Defence Forces, the Gardaí and Civil Defence in assisting with emergency transportation of patients and staff.

    They also thank the local communities for the help and support they provided to the Saolta Group.

    Hospitals have been busy and will continue to be in the coming days, particularly the Emergency Departments.

    As they prioritise treatment and care for the sickest patients and those with life threatening illnesses, it means that patients with less serious illnesses and conditions may need to wait longer for their treatment.

    As a result of this the organisation are asking people to think about all of their care and treatment options so we can keep our ED services for the patients who need them most particularly over the next few days.

    Community services in Galway Mayo and Roscommon have been disrupted over the last five days and focus is now on restoring normal service delivery as promptly as possible starting back today, Monday 5th March.

    Most services are either now running as normal or will be fully restored very shortly.

    However, the disruption caused by the severe weather may have a knock-on effect for the week ahead.

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    The HSE has apologised unreservedly to three women for failings in care they received while they were in foster care in Co Galway between 2005 and 2007.

    A report on last night’s Prime Time programme heard calls for  an investigation into the case of the three girls, who were abused at a foster home near Dunmore.

    The victims also said they are distraught at what they see as the lenient sentence given to their abuser.

    The women waived their right to anonymity to name their abuser as 29-year-old Keith Burke of Addergoolemore, Dunmore, Co Galway.

    Initially, he was charged with over 70 counts of rape and buggery of three young foster girls in the home he shared with them.

    This was reduced to 39 sample charges when the case came to court and the man was found guilty on 23 charges.

    Earlier this month, Keith Burke was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison, with a year suspended, after he was found guilty of raping the then three foster children between 2003 and 2007.

    All three girls were under ten years of age at the time.

    Ronan Hynes - solicitor for one of the victims - has now called for the entire case to be investigated.

    In a statement last night, the HSE said that - while no apology can undo the harm inflicted on the three girls - it is important that the HSE expresses a heartfelt apology at this time.

    The HSE has been in contact with Tusla to discuss how best to determine whether this case raises any concerns for HSE-delivered services today.

    The ISPCC has commended the women involved in this case for coming forward to tell their story, and says it’s important that – when abuse happens- children are listened to and their claims acted on swiftly.

    The ISPCC says if there is any suspicion of abuse or any risk of harm to a child in foster care, it’s essential that steps are taken to protect that child and any other children in the placement.

    CEO Grainia Long also says it’s important that everyone involved in child protection can be fully confident in the foster care system, but over the past year, Tusla services have consistently failed to meet HIQA standards, and the ongoing breaches in standards of foster care must be addressed.

  • HSE nursing homes in Co Mayo are being paid 61% more to provide care per person than their private and voluntary counterparts, new figures published by the HSE reveal. The HSE published the fees payable to its nursing homes under the Fair Deal scheme on 23rd February, following on from a 16-month delay.  

    Private and voluntary nursing homes are required to negotiate the fees payable to them under the Fair Deal scheme with the NTPF, acting on behalf of the State. However, the fees payable to HSE nursing homes are not subject to negotiation or oversight, with the HSE being the budget-holder and payee.

    The published fees inform the average fee payable to the six HSE nursing homes in Co Mayo is €1,390 per person, per week at February 2018. The average fee payable per person to the 17 private and voluntary nursing homes operating within the county, as of 14th February 2018, is €860 per person, per week. This reveals a 61% differential in the average fees payable in respect of residents between HSE nursing homes in County Mayo and private and voluntary counterparts.

    Nationally, HSE nursing home fees are paid an average 60% above those payable in respect of residents in private and voluntary nursing homes.

  • The HSE says plans are progressing to install X-ray and ultrasound equipment at the new Tuam Primary Care Centre.

    The centre opened to the public last December, and the Department of Health allocated funding earlier this year of €700,000 for diagnostic equipment at the facility.

    The issue was raised at this month’s meeting of the HSE Regional Forum by Galway Fianna Fail Councillor Mary Hoade, who asked if the X-ray and ulstrasound services are yet available at the Tuam Primary Care Centre, and when the necessary staff would be recruited.

    Speaking with Midwest News, Councillor Hoade said she was delighted to hear that the extra services should be in place in Tuam later this year.

  • One of the primary care centres in Mayo is now in private ownership, which has prompted a Ballinrobe-based councillor to raise questions about the ownership of the centres that were built with public funds.

    It’s emerged that investment firm Valley Healthcare has acquired one of the primary care centres in Mayo, but it’s not known which one.

    Valley Healthcare is now in control of four primary care centres – in Mayo, Wickow, Kerry and Cork, and are operating them under a 25-year lease from the HSE.

    The firm aims to take over up to 20 primary care centres nationally over the next 3 years.

    Councillor Damien Ryan, a member of the HSE Regional Forum, is putting down a question for the forum’s next meeting, requesting that the HSE identify the primary care centre in Co Mayo now owned by Valley Healthcare.

    Councillor Ryan says there are concerns about privatising primary care centres, which were built with public monies, and he says there’s some confusion over the ownership of these centres going forward…

  • There are no plans by the HSE to construct a multi-story car park at Mayo University Hospital in Castlebar, despite the ongoing problem for patients and visitors accessing the hospital.

    That was confirmed by HSE management to Castlebar Independent councillor Michael Kilcoyne in response to a question submitted to a recent meeting of the HSE West forum.

    Despite almost 330,000 euro in net income from the carparking charges at the hospital last year (2017), and the constant raising by local councillors of the difficulties in elderly or disabled people accessing the facility from the car parking facilities available, the HSE has no plans to provide alternative parking.

  • 623 people are on trolleys in hospitals across the country today. 

    That includes 32 patients at Sligo University Hospital, 29 at University Hospital Galway, 4 at Mayo University Hospital and 4 at Portiuncla Hospital in Ballinasloe.

    According to the INMO, the worst affected is Cork University Hospital with 58 people waiting on beds. 

    It's followed by University Hospital Limerick where 55 patients are on trolleys.

  • The HSE is proposing to extend the service at the Loughglynn ambulance base in Co Roscommon to a 24 hour per day, 7 days per week service.

    At present, ambulances crews are deployed to the Loughglynn base for possibly a few hours per day, but it’s now proposed to extend it to a round-the-clock service, as the ambulance base covers a wide area of West Roscommon and East Mayo.

    The issue was discussed yesterday at the HSE Regional Forum meeting in Galway, where councillors were informed that discussions are already underway, and it's hoped to extend the service within the next 6 months.

    Loughlynn-based FG Councillor Micheal Creaton says it’s a welcome development as the ambulance base at present is only manned on a part-time basis.

  • A proposal to cancel registration for Áras Attracta in Swinford, a campus-based residential setting for people with intellectual disabilities in Swinford operated by the HSE has been withdrawn by the Health Information and Quality Authority.

    The decision was made following inspections carried out at the facility on January 8th and 9th of this year. The proposal to cancel their registration was issued in September 2017. However on foot of the latest inspection report, the Chief Inspector of Social Services in HIQA has withdrawn that proposal and is inviting the HSE to apply to register these centres. However HIQA has said in a statement that it remains concerned about the sustainability of these improvements and the areas of continued non-compliance.

    The Health Information and Quality Authority has published three inspection reports for centres in Áras Attracta today.

    It found that improvements had been made to residents’ safety and quality of life since the previous inspections in May 2017. The HSE had implemented, or was in the process of implementing, the majority of actions required following previous inspections, within the agreed time frames. Revised management and oversight arrangements had been put in place in all three centres and appropriate action was now being taken in relation to safeguarding concerns.

    Inspectors found that residents were now afforded more choice in how they spent their day and in how they decorated their bedrooms. Residents could now take part in activities of interest to them. Residents and their families could now participate in making decisions that affect them through regular resident and family forums. Some residents had recently moved out of the campus into more appropriate housing in the community, while other residents told inspectors that they were looking forward to their move into the community.

    However, improvements are required in a number of areas across the campus:

    • further improving oversight of the quality and safety of care,
    • increasing opportunities for residents to participate in education, training or employment,
    • completing fire prevention upgrade work, as required by the HSE’s fire consultant,
    • making sure residents have an accessible version of their personal plan,
    • providing further training to ensure staff can meet residents' assessed needs,
    • ensuring staff files contain all records to verify that they are appropriate to work in the centre, as required under the regulations.

    While there continues to be non-compliance in areas such as the workforce, risk management, governance, suitability of accommodation on the campus and aspects of social care provision, the HSE has submitted a satisfactory action plan to fully address these issues and bring the centres into full compliance with the regulations and standards.

    On the basis of the HSE’s overall plan for the campus and the action plans submitted following these inspections, HIQA has withdrawn the notices of proposal to cancel the registration of the campus. This will provide the HSE with an opportunity to fully implement their action plans. However, HIQA remains concerned about the sustainability of these improvements and will continue to monitor the campus closely to ensure that the provider continues to improve residents’ care, safety and quality of life. HIQA now expects to receive completed applications for the registration of centres in Áras Attracta and, when received, the Chief Inspector will give due consideration to these.

     

     

     

  • A public meeting in Castlerea last night on the future of the Rosalie Unit heard that a now senior Minister had received written confirmation of assurances given in 2015 over the future of the unit.

    The meeting was held last night over fears about the future of the unit, which is currently home to 12 elderly patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

    The HSE has confirmed there will be no new admissions, while the families of residents are to be consulted about moving them to other facilities in Castlebar and Ballinasloe.

    Earlier yesterday a family delegation met with senior HSE official Tony Canavan, who told them that the unit is not in the future plans of the HSE.

    In 2015 the Rosalie Unit was in danger of closing but the situation was resolved and assurances were given at that time by Minister Kathleen Lynch and HSE officials about the future and longevity of the unit.

    Those assurances have been denied by HSE officials in recent months.

    However at last night’s meeting, Minister for Communications Denis Naughten read his notes from that meeting with the Minister in 2015 and also a letter he received from the private secretary to then Minister for Health Leo Varadkar, reiterating those commitments.

    Minister Naughten told Midwest News today that he has made representations to the Minister for Health and the HSE in recent days and says he expects that the commitments given in 2015 will be stood by.

  • The second set of sampling results on the Lough Talt water supply contaminated with cryptosporidium are due this evening.

    The HSE has been regularly testing the water after it detected the bacteria early last month.

    A boil water notice has been put in place for the 13,000 people on the Lough Talt water supply for almost a month now. It is impacting on consumers in south and west Sligo/ and areas of east Mayo,

    Irish Water will announce the latest results this evening. Representatives of the water utility company are due to meet the HSE about 4pm to evaluate the results supplied by the latest testing.

  • A Roscommon based Fianna Fail TD has slammed the HSE decision to not automatically award medical cards to all cancer patients.

    Eugene Murphy says this is a devastating blow to cancer patients who are already under extreme pressure.

    Deputy Murphy says there was a genuine expectation among cancer patients that they would be awarded medical cards and has branded the HSE decision as totally unacceptable.