HSE West

  • Close to three hundred people in Mayo are at present  either approved or waiting to be approved for a Home Care package but remain without it, and as a result many of them are languishing in hospital beds when they want to be at home.

    This figure was confirmed by Tony Canavan , Chief Officer for Community Healthcare West, at this week’s HSE West Forum in Merlin Park, in response to a question from Independent Castlebar Councillor Michael Kilcoyne.

    The Councillor says that 300 patients would fill a small hospital and he said it astounds him that the HSE can continue to argue that they don’t have the funding to provide the home care needed by applicants who qualify for the service, while many of the same patients remain in hospital beds costing up to 8,000 euro a week.

    The cost of a home care package in comparison would be in the hundreds of euros.


    The HSE is advising of an outbreak of Mumps in the Western Region.

    There's been an increase in the number of people aged 15-29 years old being diagnosed with mumps in the West, with 45 patients diagnosed in the past 7 weeks.

    Mumps is an acute viral illness that causes fever, headache and swollen salivary glands, and can be spread from person to person by coughs and sneezes, as well as through direct contact with saliva.

    People with mumps remain unwell for 7-10 days, and treatment of mumps is focused on relieving symptoms, with fluids and over the counter painkillers, as well as rest.

    To prevent infection, people with mumps are advised to stay away from school, college or work for 5 days after the onset of their symptoms.

    With 45 patients in the West diagnosed with Mumps in the past 7 weeks, this is considered an outbreak, according to the HSE, who say the best protection against mumps is to have the MMR vaccine.

    If people have not had two doses of the MMR, or are not sure if they've had two doses, they should be vaccinated as the HSE says an extra dose of the MMR vaccine will not do any harm.

  • The HSE Community Healthcare West Chief Officer says no decision has yet been taken on where residents of the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea will be moved to.

    Tony Canavan was speaking to Midwest News today following the news earlier this week that the unit will not continue to operate in its current guise.

    It follows a review by Dr James Anderson of the clinical assessments of the needs of each resident of the unit, on behalf of the HSE.

    The assessment concluded that two of the current residents required inpatient psychiatric care in a different setting, while the remaining 10 patients’ needs were exclusively supportive of general nursing at the time of inspection.

    Tony Canavan told Midwest News this evening that the unit will cease to be used as it currently is and alternative arrangements will be put in place for the 12 residents.

    He told Midwest News the HSE only wishes to ensure patients are receiving the best possible care they can.

    Meanwhile the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) today strongly condemned the decision of the HSE to close the Rosalie Community Psychiatric Unit in Castlerea. The PNA said the closure, which the HSE has claimed is in line with the recommendations of the Anderson Report, is a clear breach of repeated political commitments to keep the unit open and is against the wishes of service users and their families/carers.

    The PNA is seeking urgent clarification on HSE comments to the media regarding their concerns over the level of care being provided in the Rosalie Unit. The PNA totally rejects these reported comments from the HSE that have caused deep distress to staff working in the unit. The PNA is meeting with HSE management in the next week to seek clarification on the implications for services of the Anderson Report, and the HSE response to the closure of the Rosalie Unit.

  • The HSE executive has agreed to meet with Galway Oireachtas members and HSE West Forum members to address a crisis in funding to services for young people with autism in Galway.

    At this week’s HSE West forum meeting in Merlin Park, Headford based Fianna Fail Councillor Mary Hoade made a strong case for the service, known as GAP, (Galway Autism Partnership) that is located in Newcastle. She said she had attended a public meeting on the crisis earlier this week in the city, and the service that is used by more than 200 individuals with autism looks set to close down if funding of 75,000 euro cannot be secured.

    HSE Chief Officer for Communities Tony Canavan explained that all voluntary agencies are funded through Section 38 / 39 Service level or Grant Aid Agreements. He acknowledged the value of the service provided by GAP, and he said the organisaton had received some funding in 2017 but added that resources can only be allocated on the basis of funding available to the HSE.

    Nonetheless,  due to the funding crisis that has now occurred for the group, he said he was willing to meet with Oireachtas members locally to see if additional funding could be found.

  • The HSE West received over 2,000 requests for information last year under Freedom of Information, with half of these relating to Galway University Hospital.

    The figures were released at a recent meeting of the HSE Regional Forum, when Galway City FG Councillor Padraig Conneely asked for details on the number of FOI requests, and how long it takes to process such requests.

     Councillor Conneely says many FOI requests follow publicity about a certain health-related matter.


  • One case of meningitis has been confirmed in the HSE West region during the past week.

    Nationally, there has been a marked increase over the last fortnight in meningitis cases, with 11 cases notified since the last week in December, while three patients diagnosed with meningitis have since died.

    Dr Aine McNamara, a specialist in public health medicine with the HSE West, is urging parents of young children and teenagers to ensure their sons and daughters have received all of the meningitis vaccinations.

    She says people should also be aware of the symptoms, which include fever, vomiting, a dislike of bright lights and a rash that does not fade when pressed with a glass.