• 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.

  • County Sligo remains one of two counties in Ireland that still has no abortion services over one year on from the referendum to repeal the 8thamendment to the Constitution.

    Nine months after abortion services have been made available nationally Sligo and Carlow are the only two counties without GP or hospital abortion services. 

    SARRA (Sligo Action for Reproductive Rights Access) has launched a public petition to the HSE calling on it to announce a date for the provision of locally accessible abortion services through the public health system in Co. Sligo.

    The Sligo-based group held a public information stall in O’Connell St., Sligo, on Saturday, 28 September, to point out that women in Co. Sligo still don’t have local access to abortion services through the county’s local health services.

    The group say they have made extensive enquiries with health service structures locally and nationally and still have not been given any details of a date or plan to provide publicly accessible services in Sligo University Hospital or through local GPs.

    A spokesperson for SARRA, Peigin Doyle, said at present, women in Sligo have to travel a round trip of up to 100 km, to Donegal or Roscommon, to access a GP who will give them the medical care they need.

    She highlighted concerns about Sligo women who live in rural areas without public transport services or who cannot afford a car or time to travel.

    SARRA have appealed to local GPs in Sligo to provide abortion services and to join the HSE MyOptions system.

    The organization urges the HSE to train and support medical professionals in providing an accessible service at community level and establish the necessary services in Sligo University Hospital.

  • More than 2,000 surgical and scope procedures and outpatient appointments  nationally were cancelled yesterday  as a result of a 24-hour strike by 10,000 health care workers in a dispute over pay.

    The HSE said the industrial action created a challenging situation and that difficulties arose as the strike began at 8am yesterday in maintaining “essential daily care” for inpatients such as nutrition, hydration, transfer of patients, cleaning and infection control”.

    The 24 hour industrial action concluded at 8am this morning.

    According to today’s Irish Times, health care assistants, maternity care assistants, porters, laboratory aides, chefs, and surgical instrument technicians were on strike as part of a dispute in which Siptu says they are entitled to increases of between €1,500 and €3,000 as a result of the findings of a job evaluation scheme.

    However, the union has rejected a Government proposal for the phased payment of the money commencing in November and running to 2021.

    Talks aimed at averting three further days of strike action next week are to reconvene at the Workplace Relations Commission this morning.

    Siptu’s Paul Bell says while they have accepted an invitation to the talks, the further stoppages next week have not been deferred.He says there's no resolution in sight.



    Some women may have waited almost a year now for a result from their cervical check screening.

    That's according to Fianna Fáil's health spokesman, Stephen Donnelly.

    The HSE says 800 women haven't received the test-results because of an IT problem at a US lab.

    It mainly involves women who were sent for rechecks between last October and June 25th of this year.

    The HSE has apologised, but Deputy Donnelly says that's not good enough.


  • St Joseph’s Day Care Centre in Ballaghaderreen will close at the end of July.

    That was confirmed to local public representatives at a meeting with HSE officials in Galway today.

    There had been uncertainly over the future of the centre earlier this year and an assessment was carried out.

    Public representatives were told that the assessment indicated the unit was not suitable for use by the patients serviced by it.

    The 18 patients who use it will now be bussed to Boyle to the Day Care Centre there.

    Ballaghaderreen Sinn Fein Councillor Michael Mulligan told Midwest News it is an unacceptable development.

  • St Joseph’s mental health daycare centre in Ballaghaderreen has not closed today but it is understood the HSE is carrying out needs assessments on each service user attending the day centre currently.

    The assessments are being carried out to establish how best their individual needs will be met and once they are completed, a detailed plan will be developed.

    The HSE is understood to have informed local public representatives that no closure of the facility, if that is the decision arrived at, will not happen until alternative services are provided in the area.

    Local Fine Gael Senator Maura Hopkins told Midwest News earlier this week that she has concerns over the future of the facility.


  • Frailty is a common real life condition with up to 30% of people over 75 years being affected. To meet the complex needs of older people requires our healthcare systems to adapt and recognise frailty as a real life condition. This is particularly relevant for Roscommon University Hospital (RUH) which serves the West/Northwest and which has shown to have the largest population of residing older adults in Ireland (DOH, 2016).

    The HSE National Frailty Education Programme was developed to provide all members of a multidisciplinary team with an understanding of frailty and frailty assessments, thereby allowing early recognition of frailty, improved healthcare management and a better outcome for older adults when accessing a health service.

    Three staff members in RUH trained as National Frailty Facilitators and committed to the roll out of the programme throughout 2018 to promote a culture change in organising and delivering the programme to the staff. The team launched a frailty awareness campaign, compiled a frailty leaflet for staff and were instrumental in piloting a frailty assessment tool into the Medical Assessment unit.

    Generally the National Frailty Education Programme is delivered as a one day course and this resulted in the hospital doctors being unable to attend due to time constraints. RUH frailty facilitators proposed a modular approach to the delivery of the frailty programme to all hospital doctors over a 3 month time frame (1 hour sessions). 13 doctors undertook the programme each third Friday where the frailty facilitators delivered one module at a time for seven sessions until all modules were completed. Positive feedback from the doctors identified that the areas covered in the programme were very relevant to clinical practice.

    All doctors in RUH completed the programme between September and November 2018 and were the first group of doctors within Saolta and nationally to have completed the National Frailty Education Programme.

  • The HSE Mayo Primary Care Psychology Service, Community Healthcare West in association with The Mayo Suicide Prevention Alliance this week launched a new ‘Stress Control’ course which will run over 6 consecutive Tuesdays commencing Tuesday March 5th at 7.00pm in An Sportlann, Castlebar.

    ‘Stress Control’ is a course developed by Scottish Clinical Psychologist Dr. Jim White in the nineties, and it is now the most widely-used stress management course within the UK and Ireland. The course is now being delivered all over the world and it has been widely evaluated with research showing positive outcomes for those that attend. One recent study from the U.K. found that levels of anxiety and depression (i.e. stress levels) reduced by about 50% for those who attended all six sessions. This reduction was consistent whether attendees had mild, moderate or severe levels of stress before attending the course.

    Over the course of the six 90-minute evening classes, attendees will learn ways to manage their stress better. Topics covered will include controlling your body, controlling your thoughts and controlling your actions as well as dealing with panic and sleep problems.

    This course is the first of its kind to be run for the public in Co. Mayo and it is being delivered by Senior Clinical Psychologists from the HSE Mayo Primary Care Psychology Service, Community Healthcare West; Dr. William Mowlds and Dr. Jeananne Garavan. The first of six weekly classes takes place at 7.00pm on Tuesday March 5th upstairs in An Sportlann beside McHale Park, Castlebar. There is no need to book and those interested are encouraged to just come along on the night.

  • A surgical robot is currently being used by consultant urologists at Galway University Hosptial, and the HSE has confirmed that, so far this year, 60 men have had their prostate surgery undertaken by urologists at the hospital using this new technology.

    Robotic surgery is the most advanced form of minimally-invasive surgery available to patients, and consultant urologists say it reduces the length of time patients must spend in hospital for prostate surgery.

    It also means there's less scarring and post-operative pain, which allows patients to resume their daily activities sooner, with less need for pain-relief medication.

    The robot was installed at University Hospital Galway in June.

    A donation of €350,000 was received towards the cost of the equipment from Cancer Care West.

    Galway University Hospital treats more men for prostate cancer than any other single cancer treatment centre, and the hospital expects to treat up to 150 men using the robotic surgery in the coming year.

  • Hospitals are facing major disruption, after talks to avert a strike by over 40-thousand nurses, ended without agreement last night.

    The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation was locked in three days of talks with the HSE at the Workplace Relations Commission to try and avert the threatened action, which begins on Wednesday.

    It's the first of six 24-hour nationwide work stoppages - and potentially the largest health-service strike in the country's history. 


  • The HSE is contacting patients whose surgeries or appointments can now go ahead following the cancellation of today's strike.

    10 thousand hospital support staff were due to walk off the job today in a row over pay rises - but the 24-hour strike was called off last evening.

    Both sides are to meet at the Workplace Relations Commission this afternoon - with strikes planned for next week if there's no resolution.

    Should the strikes go ahead next Tuesday and Wednesday, there's concern that thousands more appointments will be cancelled.

  • The board of the Psychiatric Nurses Association is meeting today to consider the progress of recent talks in its ongoing dispute with the HSE.

    Both parties have held discussions over the past week, with a view to resolving recruitment and retention issues.

    Last week, the union deferred its ban on overtime.

    During the action, 6,000 members refused to work more than their contracted hours last Thursday and Friday.

  • The Psychiatric Nurses Association says it plans to 'escalate' its current dispute with the HSE if a solution isn't found.

    Over 500 ambulance service staff with the union are in the middle of a 24 hour strike in a row over union recognition.

    The PNA is recognised by the HSE, but not its ambulance service branch.

    General Secretary of the PNA, Peter Hughes, says they aren't afraid to take things further.

  • There's expected to be disruption for patients in the health service today - despite a strike by 10 thousand support staff being called off.

    They were due to stage a 24 hour walkout in a row over the implementation of pay rises.

    However, SIPTU's confirmed the strike won't go ahead so more talks can take place at the Workplace Relations Commission.

    Two more days of industrial action are planned next week if no breakthrough can be found.

    Stephen McMahon from the Irish Patients Association says the strike being called off doesn't mean there won't be disruption.

  • Tomorrow's strike by health workers has been deferred to allow for talks at the Workplace Relations Commission. 

    Siptu representatives have confirmed that a 24 hour workplace stoppage at 38 hospitals and healthcare facilities has been postponed at the request of the WRC. 

    The union says discussions on the implementation of the job evaluation scheme will get underway tomorrow. 

    However it says preparations for strikes next Tuesday and Wednesday will continue.


  • It’s a disaster for patients and their carers living at home or in residential private care that there is a real shortage of medical / sanitary /  incontinence supplies  from the HSE at present.

    That’s according to Tuam based Fianna Fail councillor Donagh Killalea who raised the matter with HSE management at this week’s HSE West Forum meeting.

    In response Chief Officer with the HSE confirmed that clients have been encountering delays in the delivery of incontinence products following a change of supplier last year. He said that despite numerous interactions with this supplier, difficulties remain. Therefore he said the HSE is re-tendering for this service and its expected a new tender will be in place by September.

    Cllr Killalea told Midwest News that the situation is completely unacceptable.

  • A Galway County Councillor is questioning why the HSE has put a new X-ray facility into the old health centre in Tuam, rather in the town' s new Primary Care Centre.

    Fianna Fail Councillor Donagh Killilea says a campaign has been underway for months to secure an X-ray facility in Tuam, and now the HSE has decided to locate the service in the old health centre.

    The issue was discussed at yesterday's meeting of the HSE Regional Forum, where Councillor Killilea called for the x-ray service to be provided instead at the new Primary Care Centre in Tuam.

  • Up to 14,000 adult carers have become eligible for free family doctor visits following the extension of the GP visit scheme, that’s according to today’s Irish Times.

    Minister for Health Simon Harris and Minister of State for Disabilities Finian McGrath urged carers to register for the new service, which was agreed by Government last December.

    The Health Service Executive (HSE) said yesterday that registration is  now open and applied to people who were in receipt of either full or half rate carer’s allowance or carer’s benefit,

    It has set up an online system for carers to register on – mymedicalcard.ie. Paper registration forms are also available from local Citizen Advice Centres or for download from the website. The HSE said completed registration forms would be processed within 15 working days.

    Minister Harris said carers were the backbone of every community providing vital supports for their loved ones.

    “This initiative allows us to now provide carers with the health supports that they require. Availing of a GP visit card will enable the additional eligible carers to access GP services free of charge ensuring that their own physical, mental and emotional wellbeing is protected.”

    Mr McGrath said carers had devoted themselves to caring for their children, and the Government wanted to acknowledge the incredible work carried out by carers and to say thank you.


  • It's reported that a number of women were treated for micro-invasive cancer in HSE facilities, but were never told they had the condition.

    This is a cancer that has not yet spread locally and rarely develops into invasive cancer.

    A report from the Irish Independent says the women were contacted as part of a review led by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.


    The affected women were sent letters informing them of the diagnosis during the review of cancer cases that was set up in the wake of the Cervical Check Scandal.

    It's understood doctors removed cancerous cells during procedures - but that they hadn't spread, and were unlikely to develop into tumours.

    The cases were notified to the National Cancer Registry, but it seems the women themselves were not told about the diagnosis.

    The total number of affected women isn't known at this point, but the Irish Independent reports that none of the women involved have cancer now.

    The HSE has apologised for any distress cased to the women.