HSE

  • Almost six and a half thousand older people across the country are currently on a waiting list for home care support from the HSE.

    The biggest waiting list in the CHO2, which comprises Mayo, Galway and Roscommon with 1,482 people waiting for home support hours.

    The figures, obtained by Fianna Fail, show that between January and March, the HSE missed its target of home support hours by around 40,000 hours - or almost 10%.

    Mayo Fianna Fail TD Lisa Chambers is asking why those targets are being missed- particularly in the Western counties, where older people are waiting for basic supports in order to continue living at home.

  • There are currently 18 vacant hospital consultants posts at Galway University Hospitals, while across the country, new figures show almost 350 hospital consultant posts are vacant.

    The HSE figures in today's Irish Times show there are now more than 1 in 10 hospital consultants posts vacant across the health service.

     

     

  • The number of senior managers in the HSE has increased by 80pc in just six years, according to new figures released to Fianna Fáil.

    There are 1,329 staff members employed at Grade VIII or above, compared with 744 in 2012.

    The salary scale for a Grade VIII clerical worker begins at around €48,000.

    The deputy leader of Fianna Fáil Dara Calleary told Midwest News today that the recruitment crisis in front line staff clearly does not extend to management.

    He said the increase in managers had not led to improvements in service provision in the past six years.

    Last week the deputy highlighted that waiting list inpatient appointments nationally now stand close to one million .

     

  •  Almost 5 million euro has been spent on ambulances to Mayo University Hospital over the past seven years, and according to Erris based Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway Walsh it’s too high a price to pay when the service is not under HSE control.

    The senator says the spending €4.8 million on private ambulances since 2011 does not constitute value for money and the money should instead have been spent purchasing and staffing new ambulances.

     She claims that the ambulance services in the HSE have suffered from years of cuts, under investment, and privatisation of ambulance services with over €31 million being spent on private ambulances by the HSE nationally since 2011.

    Mayo University Hospital and the State, she believes, need to ensure that we have a high quality, publicly owned stock of ambulances instead of putting money into the pockets of private companies which does not constitute fiscal prudence.

  • The Alzheimer’s Day Care Centre in Castlebar will remain a five day per week service and the transport service from other parts of the county to the centre will be retained.

    That has been confirmed this evening by the Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland to Mayo Fianna Fail Deputy Dara Calleary this evening.

    Funding shortfalls meant that there was a proposal to reduce the centre to a three day per week service and cut the transport services to it.

    However following negotiations between the HSE and the Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland, that threat has been lifted.

  • The boil water notice on the Lough Talt public water supply has been  extended until further notice while the HSE continues to investigate illness in the community. That’s according to a statement today from Irish Water.

    The utility company says that working in partnership with Sligo County Council, it is advising customers supplied by the Lough Talt public water supply, that the boil water notice issued on the supply last February has been extended until further notice following a meeting with the HSE.


    The notice was issued due to detections of cryptosporidium in the water at the water treatment plant following routine compliance sampling. To date there have been 20 weeks of clear sampling on the scheme, however the HSE are investigating the cause of a number of cases of cryptosporidiosis in the water supply area during the period the Boil Water Notice has been in place.

    The HSE have indicated that the criteria for lifting this notice are zero detections of cryptosporidium in the water at the treatment plant together with a coinciding period of no reported illnesses in the community in the absence of a validated crypto barrier at the treatment plant.

    The next consultation to review this boil water notice between Irish Water, Sligo County Council and the HSE is scheduled for mid-September. In the meantime customers are urged to continue boiling water before consumption.

    Areas affected by the Boil Water Notice include the towns of Tubbercurry and Ballymote and a large rural hinterland including the villages of Annagh, Aclare, Bunnanaddan, Curry, Lavagh, Ballanacarrow, Carroweden, Kilmacteige, Quarryfield and Coolaney.

    This boil notice also includes customers supplied by the Ogham Group Water Scheme (GWS) in Co Sligo and the following areas in Co Mayo: Cloontia, Doocastle, and the Moylough GWS.

    Over 435 customers in Bellaghy are receiving clean, secure water from the Charlestown supply and no longer need to boil water before consumption

    Householders are reminded to continue to boil water before consumption including the washing of teeth, making of ice and in the preparation of food that is not cooked. It is imperative that people adhere to the boil water notice. 

     

  • 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.

     

     

  • A creche in Co Galway has been closed, following an outbreak of E-coli.

    The creche in the Dunmore area has been temporarily closed after three children were diagnosed with a serious form of gastroenteritis last week, while a further four cases have been detected this week.

    Two of the young children involved are being treated in hospital in Dublin, where it's understood they were placed on dialysis.

    The HSE says an investigation into the cause of the outbreak is continuing.

    It is understood that both staff and children at the facility have taken ill. All are being monitored and will not be allowed into other childcare centres until tests show they are completely free of infection and pose no risk to others.

     

     

  • A decision now needs to be made as to how exactly the HSE run Rosalie Unit in Castlerea is to develop, according to Minister for Communications, local deputy Denis Naughten. 

    At a meeting yesterday in the unit with the Minister for the Elderly Jim Daly and attended by local public representatives and HSE representatives, seven different options were presented as to how the unit might progress. 

    At present the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea is a residential home for about 12 residents with dementia.

    A local campaign group has worked hard to keep the facility open, after the HSE had stated its intention to close it some months ago. 

    However that decision was reversed and Minister Naughten received a firm commitment from Taoiseach Leo Varadkar that the unit as a residential facility for patients with mental health issues, would remain open. Leo Varadkar had given the same commitment in 2015 when he was Minister for Health and the future of the unit was under threat. 

     

  • It could be 2019 before the promised new modular orthopaedic theatres for Merlin Park Hospital in Galway will be in place. The urgently required temporary structures have been stalled due to a delay by the HSE in appointing a contractor.

    The matter was raised by the Cathaoirleach of the HSE West Forum, Headford based councillor Mary Hoade at the May meeting of the Forum.

    Councillor Hoade said that the additional theatre space was promised to be in place by October of this year, but with no contractor yet appointed and no planning permission sought for the development, its delivery within the promised time frame is unlikely.

    HSE Management confirmed that there has been a delay in appointing a contractor and as a result the October delivery date is unlikely.

    The modular theatres were proposed last September, when two orthopaedic theatres at Merlin Park were forced to closed due to structural problems. One of the two has reopened since.

    However, the waiting list for hip and knee surgeries across counties Galway, Roscommon and Mayo is increasing, with intense pressure on the one working theatre at present.

  • 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.

  • Four nursing jobs are available in Ireland for every qualified nurse applying, the latest HSE figures show.

    The Irish Times is reporting that intensive care units and operating theatres around the country are among the worst hit for shortages as the HSE says it is having particular difficulties recruiting specialist nurses.

    The HSE has also said it is 20 per cent less expensive to directly employ nurses rather than paying an agency to bring in temporary staff.

    Although the number of nurses rose by 400 last year, the HSE is having particular difficulties getting recruits for “theatre and intensive care where specialist skills are required”.

     Before the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Independent Galway West TD Catherine Connolly  highlighted that two operating theatres at Merlin Park Hospital and an entire ward at University Hospital Galway were shut because of staff shortages.

     “When I ask why it is closed, I find it is an absence of staff. If there is an absence of nurses at that level, we have an emergency.

    The PAC was examining the latest annual report and financial statement of the HSE, which showed “the ratio of nursing jobs in Ireland to nurses looking for them is four to one and it is particularly difficult to fill specialist nursing roles”.

     

  • Due to an on-going outbreak of norovirus in Mayo University Hospital, management is now asking for a full restriction on visiting. Arrangements will be made for family members of critically ill patients or those patients who require assistance or support of a family member; this should be arranged through the nurse on duty in the ward prior to arrival at the hospital.

    Any patient presenting to the hospital with recent symptoms of diarrhoea and/ or vomiting or had contact with others who have these symptoms MUSTnotify staff on arrival into the hospital so that contingency measures can be immediately put in place.

    The Hospital Management says it appreciates and thanks the community for their support for this patient safety measure.

  • A Galway City Councillor has expressed concerns about the high level of people presenting at the Emergency Department of Galway University Hospital with alcohol-related conditions.

    The issue was raised at this week's meeting of the HSE Regional Forum, where FG Councillor Padraig Conneely asked management for a breakdown of the figures in relation to those attending the Emergency Department - particularly at weekends and during festivals - with alcohol-related problems.

    Councillor Conneely was told those statistics are not available, but he says national and international trends would indicate that significant resources in Emergency Departments are being used to treat people who have over-indulged.

  • The HSE has apologised for failures identified in a review of paediatric audiology services in Mayo and Roscommon and has committed to sharing the review report with the families affected today.

    General Manager of the HSE West, Tony Canavan said “on behalf of the HSE, I would like to offer a sincere apology for the failures identified”.

    Parents of the children affected have been invited to meet with a senior manager and a senior audiologist to discuss the findings of the report and they will be updated on their child’s care,” he said.

    The HSE carried out a review of audiology services in counties Mayo and Roscommon between April 2011 and February 2015 following concerns raised by the assistant national clinical lead in audiology. It said the concerns related to one audiologist who no longer works in the audiology services.

    Of the 995 cases examined, 49 children have been found to be affected. Thirteen children were re-referred into the service following concerns and were retested and identified as having a hearing loss.

    Sixteen children with hearing aids received hearing aid management that deviated significantly from recommendations set out in the National Audiology Review group Report (2011). Twenty children who were recalled and retested were identified with a new hearing loss.

    The HSE say the 49 children affected are all currently receiving or have already received the appropriate care.

    Tony Canavan says the priority now is to bring the outcome of the audit to the attention of the parents involved and to provide them an opportunity to have any questions they might have answered. To this end, the review report will be shared with the families affected today.”

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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.

  • The HSE has made a € 5m settlement to the family of a boy with cerebral palsy in a case taken over the handling of his birth at Sligo General Hospital.

    The case, which was settled without an admission of liability, was taken by his mother Lisa Carpenter from Coolaney, Co. Sligo.

    Kyle Carpenter was born three weeks early on May 3rd 2009.

    His mother Lisa went to hospital two days beforehand complaining of stomach pain but she was reassured everything was normal.

    The pain continued after she went home but she experienced no pain when she woke up on May 3rd and couldn't feel any movement.

    She was advised to go back to hospital and a CTG scan taken at 1.30 gave cause for concern.

    Despite that, she claimed a decision to deliver the baby wasn't made for another hour and Kyle required resuscitation and intubation when he was eventually delivered at 3.37.

    He has since been diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

    The HSE contested liability and the case was due to go to a full hearing before it was settled out of court today with no admission of liability.

    In approving the € 5m settlement, Mr. J Kevin Cross described the case as "complex" and one, he said, that would have had an uncertain outcome for the family had it gone to a full hearing.

     

  • 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.

  • 100 people die from smoking every week in Ireland, according to the HSE.

    It's research for World No Tobacco Day, found 1 in 4 men and 1 in 5 women still smoke.

    It's most common among young people but there are now more quitters than smokers here.

    But the HSE's Dr Paul Kavanagh says more needs to be done to encourage quitting.

  • 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.