• 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.

  • 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.



  • A Mayo Councillor has asked how patients can be discharged from hospital during the night when the consultant - who makes the ultimate decision to discharge a patient - may be at home in their bed.

    The issue was raised at the monthly meeting of the HSE Regional Forum, when Castlebar Independent Councillor Michael Kilcoyne asked for clarification on who ultimately makes the decision to discharge a patient.

    He was informed by HSE management that the decision is made by a consultant.

    Councillor Kilcoyne says it's unfair that patients, who often live alone, are sent home from hospital in the middle of the night.

    He also claims patients are often moved to district hospitals without prior consultation with their families.

  • 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…

  • With just days to go to the Budget, the families of children with SMA - Spinal Muscular Atrophy - are making a final plea to Government to sanction the drug Spinraza, which they believe will halt the progression of the rare genetic condition.

     SMA affects 25 families nationally, including two families in Co Mayo.

    It's estimated it would cost in the region of €3 million per year to provide the drug for these 25 children, but to date, the Government has not sanctioned its approval.

    Health Minister Simon Harris is waiting for a recommendation from the HSE, but the families involved say a decision is needed now, as the childrens' conditions are getting progressively worse.



  • A Mayo Fianna Fail TD has highlighted a worrying increase in the number of people waiting for urology appointments in hospitals across the country.

    Fianna Fail Deputy Leader Dara Calleary says figures released to him show that there were almost 30,000 people on the outpatient waiting list at the end of August, with over 10,500 patients waiting more than a year to see a doctor. Galway University Hospital, along with Tallaght Hospital and University Hospital Waterford have the longest waiting lists for this particular speciality.

    Deputy Calleary says that while some progress has been made with inpatient procedures, as a result of additional funding secured by Fianna Fail for the National Treatment Purchase Fund, the outpatient scenario is extremely worrying.

  • Mayo Roscommon Hospice is now awaiting written confirmation from the HSE that full funding will be in place to open the new multimillion euro new Castlebar Hospice facility before the end of this year.

    Thursday next, is national Hospice Coffee morning, and the Mayo Roscommon Hospice Foundation is hoping that 250 coffee mornings will take place next week in homes, work place,and community centres in this region.

    All the monies raised for the Mayo Roscommon Hospice goes towards the hospice services in homes in both counties and towards the new hospice building completed in Castlebar, and a new facility to go to construction phase by next year in Roscommon town.

    Martina Jennings is the CEO of the Mayo Roscommon Hospice hada huge turnout at an open day last Thursday at the new Castlebar facility to mark Hospice coffee day 2019.

  • The timeframe from when home help hours are allocated to a client, and when they're implemented, should be no longer than one month.

    That's according to Mayo Fianna Fail Senator Keith Swanick, who raised the issue of home care supports in the Seanad yesterday with Junior Minister Finian McGrath.

    The latest HSE figures show that, while some 53,000 people are benefitting from home help, there are currently 7,300 people on the waiting list for the service.

    Senator Swanick, who's also a GP in Belmullet, also questioned the complaints procedure in place for those who are unhappy with the standard of care being provided, and claimed some clients are being told to "put up or shut up" or they may lose their home help hours.

  • The head of the HSE has stepped down just hours after refusing to resign over the CervicalCheck scandal.

    Tony O'Brien informed the Health Minister last night admitting that there were failures in telling women about incorrect smear test results.

    Yesterday it emerged the HSE was told two years ago that women could go to the media over the scandal.

    Mr O’Brien’s resignation has also been welcomed by Mayo Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh.

    She says that from the moment the revelations started about CervicalCheck, his position was untenable.

    Senator Conway-Walsh says the news yesterday that there were three memos outlining the fact that they knew within the HSE about these failures but kept that information from the women involved and their doctors, is unacceptable. 

    She told Midwest News this morning that people need to be held accountable in this scandal.

  • Mayo TD Lisa Chambers has expressed concern over low staffing levels in the Mayo University Hospital’s Maternity Ward.


    There are currently 10 fulltime staff vacancies at the maternity Ward and a 2014 government review found that the hospital was 5 staff below recommended levels.


    The Fianna Fáil TD has called on the Minster for Health and the HSE to address the staffing levels and wants five additional staff added to the ten that have already been approved.