• Following on from the Cervical Check controversy, it's been confirmed that 26 cases are being dealt with involving women from counties Mayo, Galway and Roscommon.

    The figure was provided at yesterday's meeting of the HSE Regional Forum in Galway, where Galway-based FG Councillor Padraig Conneely questioned HSE management on what number of cases have been settled in the West, and how many are still pending.

    He also asked for details on whether these cases are being settled out of court, and said the patients involved should have their cases settled quickly.

    Management did not provide the details Councillor Conneely requested in relation to individual cases, but did confirm that there are 26 women involved across three counties in the West.

  • The HSE is hoping turnaround times for a Covid test will be three days, from next Monday.

     The Health Executive says it's been working to update its technology to automate results.

     Latest figures show there are 23,400 confirmed cases here and 1,497 people have lost their lives.

     CEO of the HSE, Paul Reid, says it will take three days from reporting symptoms to getting a result.


  • 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.

  • The HSE has reported a sharp rise in the number of cases of mumps following a major outbreak of the illness in the north-west.

    A total of 18 cases of the contagious disease have been reported since Monday according to the Irish Independent.

    This brings the total number of cases in the region to 93.

    A spokesperson for the HSE says they have been mainly in the Sligo town area and south Donegal, but there are also some cases in north Donegal.

    Symptoms include fever, headache and swollen, tender salivary glands.

    The HSE stressed that all children and young adults should have two MMR doses.

  • 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 four thousand residents and staff at nursing homes are being tested for Covid-19 this weekend.


    There are now 248 outbreaks of coronavirus in those settings - affecting 40 per cent of all homes.


    The HSE says that's their "greatest challenge" in tackling the spread.


    Chief Clinical Officer, Dr Colm Henry, says they're ramping up testing in long-term residential care facilities and focussing on three groups:

  • 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.

  • The Chief Executive of the HSE says progress is being made in reducing the number of people on trolleys in Irish hospitals.

    621 people were left on trolleys yesterday, while on Monday there were 760 people left without a bed - the largest number on record.

    Elective procedures have been cancelled at four hospitals this week because of the extent of the overcrowding.

    HSE Chief Executive Paul Reid says they need to strengthen community care to provide some relief to hospitals.

  • The HSE has responded to a query from Midwest News in relation to the closure of the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea, as the final two residents are being transferred today to Aras Máthair Pól - a community nursing home in the town.

    There are 24 staff employed at the Rosalie Unit, and the HSE says Community Healthcare West is currently "working with the unions under the auspices of the Workplace Relations Commission in respect of the staff transferring to existing vacancies in the area".

    In terms of the future use of the property, the statement adds that a proposal, which would see the provision of a Child & Adult Mental Health Service at the Rosalie site has been submitted to the Dept of Health for consideration, and the HSE is currently awaiting a decision on this.


  • The HSE is taking its time in coming back with answers on its plans for a full time GP service in Lahardane. That’s according to Mayo Fine Gael Senator Michelle Mulherin.

    The Senator is seeking clarification following a packed public meeting that took place on the issue last week.

    There is a now campaign underway to secure a full time GP position and a local dispensary in the village of Lahardane, to ensure that the community will continue to have access to a local GP.

    Lahardane had a doctor’s surgery and a full time GP for many years, but the GP retired last year, the doctor’s surgery is now in private ownership, and while a locum doctor has been providing limited cover on a temporary basis, the community does not feel it is adequate in terms of demand.

    Senator Mulherin told Midwest News today that she has now spoken to Minister Simon Harrios on the issue in an effort to speed up the process and to get answers for the local community.

  • The HSE is to apologise to almost 50 families in Mayo and Roscommon for serious failings in audiology services provided to their children according to an RTE Investigates report.

    It follows the completion of a look-back review of paediatric audiology services provided in over 900 cases by one audiologist.

    The HSE carried out a view of services provided in Mayo and Roscommon from 2011 to 2015 as a result of concerns around some aspects of the quality of the service provided, leaving some children with lifelong implants.

    The report says that the individual worked in the Mayo/Roscommon area for over a ten-year period from the early 2000s providing services to young children.

    The look-back began when several professionals in the area expressed concerns about the quality of the audiologist’s work.

    Of the over 900 cases examined, 49 children have found to be affected.

    The HSE is expected to write to these families in the next number of days to provide them with details of the report and RTE reports the letters will also acknowledge that the failings identified either increased the risk of a missed diagnosis or a poor outcome for the affected children.

    The letters will also include an apology from the HSE for its failure to provide appropriate hearing assessments and for the distress this has caused the children involved and their families.

    The clinical team who undertook the review found that in the cases examined hearing assessments conducted did not meet national audiology standards.

    Among the key failures identified are a failure to determine the model of paediatric audiology service provide; hearing aid management was not performed as per relevant guidelines at fitting or review appointments; there was inadequate clinical governance in place to audit and monitor service provision and poor record keeping.

    The HSE has said that all affected children who required a recall have been offered follow-up appointments and in the majority of cases those clinical follow-ups have been accepted.

    It said any children identified as needing further interventions have now been prioritised and treated in a timely manner.

    It is understood that the individual involved has been suspended from practicing here and no longer provides services in the Republic of Ireland.

    It is reported some parents are now considering pursuing legal actions against the HSE.


  • The HSE has welcomed the decision taken by the INMO and PNA to suspend industrial action planned for this week.

     With nurses expected to fully attend at work today, Wednesday and Thursday, it says it will endeavour to do everything it can to restore normal services.

     However, this will not be possible in all areas.

     It expects outpatient appointments to go ahead as planned and advise anyone with an appointment today, Wednesday and Thursday to attend.

     It is advising surgical patients that they will be contacted by their hospital if their procedure is going ahead.

     It expects that Emergency Departments will be extremely busy and is asking the public to only use these services if absolutely necessary.

  • A leading health expert says it's only the third time in 20 years that the flu season started in November.

    Yesterday the HSE's Health Protection Centre confirmed 3 flu-related deaths while 324 people have been admitted to hospital.

    12 of those were admitted to intensive care units.

    Also, some children with cancer have had their chemotherapy treatment delayed due to an increase in the number presenting to emergency departments with the flu or winter vomiting bug.

  • Employers will no longer be told about their workers Covid-19 test results.

    Yesterday, the HSE confirmed the issue had been taking place in some 'exceptional' circumstances.

    However, it now says the practice is being suspended as it seeks advice on the matter from the data protection commissioner.

    Following a further 16 deaths yesterday, the death toll from the virus now stands at 1,561, and there are 24,251 confirmed cases - including an additional 51 cases confirmed yesterday evening.

    The number of confirmed cases in Mayo is up 4 since yesterday at 556, with 438 confirmed cases in Galway, 307 in Galway-  that's an increase of 6 cases - 307 cases in Roscommon, up 3, 129 in Sligo - unchanged from the previous day - and up one in Leitrim to 80 confirmed cases.


    Roscommon-Galway TD Denis Naughten has welcomed confirmation that the HSE is to suspend its practice of sharing medical results with employers before workers, but again questioned why this practice was used in the first instance.

    Deputy Naughten, who first raised this issue in the Dail last week, says the key question that remains unanswered is why did the HSE disregard data protection laws regarding medical test results.

    He believes it's because those responsible either wait weeks for the contract tracing system to inform staff of their results, or try to get the information out quickly to the employer in order to reduce the spread of the infection.

    The Independent TD claims this breach of data protection has occurred because the current contract tracing system in not working.





  • Representatives from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation are to meet with the HSE this afternoon.

    The talks, taking at the Workplace Relations Commission, are aimed at averting planned strike action - the first of which is due to take place a week from today.

    The union says that low levels of pay have left the public health service unable to recruit and retain enough nurses and midwives to safely care for patients.

    INMO spokesperson Phil Ní Sheaghdha says that even though "no serious proposals" have been brought forward so far, she's hopeful progress can be made at today's talks:

  • The Mental Health Commission has reported a number of improvements at Teach Aisling in Castlebar, following its latest inspection.

    Teach Aisling is a 10-bed approved HSE centre in Castlebar which provides long-stay care for residents with mental illness and for mental health rehabilitation and recovery.

    An earlier inspection last March raised serious concerns - particularly in relation to the availability of drinking water for residents, as well as recreational activity, therapeutic services and programmes for residents, restrictive practices and staffing.

    A focused inspection was carried out on the 9th August, with significant improvements reported.

    The inspection found Teach Aisling was compliant in five areas examined, and non-compliant in one area, which related to the premises itself.  


  • It's emerged a medical lab that takes up to seven months to process smear tests for the HSE has been fast-tracking the results for private patients.

    MedLab in Sandyford has been able to turn around the cervical cancer tests in just two weeks for private patients, according to the Sunday Business Post.

    There's currently a backlog of 78-thousand smear test samples for public patients, and the HSE says there's no extra lab capacity to deal with it.

  • Health clinics nationwide are facing a personnel crisis due to the retirement of up to 700 GPs over the next seven years.


    The Irish Patients' Association says up to five percent of clinics could close, forcing patients to travel greater distances.


    Stephen McMahon, from the IPA, says new doctors are also being tempted away from Ireland by attractive packages abroad.

  • The HSE has confirmed that a locum GP will in place, from today for the next three months in the Mayo village of Laherdane.

    A local action group was formed last month following a public meeting, to highlight concerns over the lack of GP cover in Laherdane.

    The local committee has been liaising in recent weeks with HSE officials and public representatives, and DR Paul Davis, PEO for the Laherdane GP Action Group has confirmed to Midwest News today that a locum GP will be in place from the start of September for the next 3 months.

    The HSE also confirmed that the permanent position has been offered to a GP.

    This offer expires in two weeks time, and if the position has not been accepted by then, it will be readvertised immediately.