• 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.

  • A Mayo TD is calling on the Ministers for Health & Finance to work with SIPTU to try and avoid tomorrow' strike by health support staff.

    10,000 hospital staff will take part in a 24-hour strike tomorrow, with further strikes planned for the coming weeks, in a row over pay.

    Healthcare assistants, porters and catering staff are among the SIPTU workers taking the action.

    Mayo, Galway, Sligo and Roscommon University Hospitals will be impacted by the strike, as well as Merlin Park and Portiuncla Hospitals.

    Thousands of patients scheduled for surgery could have their appointments cancelled tomorrow, and there are also fears that some hospitals won't be able to provide regular meals and hot food to patients.

    The HSE says contingency plans are in place, but warns the strike will have a significant impact on services if it goes ahead.

    Mayo Fianna Fail Deputy Lisa Chambers says the hospital support staff are frustrated, because the Government is failing to follow through on a commitment made in advance of carrying out a job evaluation scheme.


    And Mayo Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh has also called for the implementation of pay agreements for the hospital support staff, who she says "hold our health service together".

    Senator Conway-Walsh says these workers are on some of the lowest wages within the healthcare system, and should not have to wait so long for pay that's due to them.





  • A Mayo TD has described as "strange" a suggestion by the new HSE Chief Executive Officer that there should be fewer hospital Emergency Departments.

    At a time when hospitals are experiencing record over-crowding, Mayo Fianna Fail TD Dara Calleary says the comments made by HSE CEO Paul Reid are ill-judged, as closing Emergency Departments will not help to ease the overcrowding situation.

  • Mayo Fianna Fail TD Dara Calleary raised the future of the five day service at the Mayo Alzheimer’s Centre in Castlebar in the Dail last night.

    It was revealed in the past couple of weeks that Alzheimers Ireland is being forced to reduce services at the Mayo Centre in Castlebar from five days to three days and to curtail transport services to the centre from the end of this month.

    Alzheimer’s Ireland has to do this because the HSE has not increased financial support to the centre.

    Deputy Calleary says the response from the HSE to the issue last night was cold hearted in his opinion and showed no empathy for the services users and their families.

    The matter was dealt with by Minister for Older People Jim Daly and he has committed to looking at the situation himself, to see if there is anything he can do.

  • Plans by the HSE to cut a number of posts in Primary Care services across the West will be raised with the Department of Health today.


    A meeting was held yesterday  in Mayo between unions and HSE management, where it emerged that 40 primary care posts were lost last year, with an additional 68 posts being taken out of the system this year.

    The Forsa trade union is warning that this will lead to the decimation of primary care services across the West, particularly in Mayo.


    Mayo Fianna Fail TD Dara Calleary, who highlighted these cutbacks in primary care staff ahead of the general election, says he will raise the matter today with the secretary general of the Dept of Health Jim Breslin.


    Deputy Calleary told Paula Donnellan it's unacceptable that more posts are being promised in primary care nationally, while jobs are being cut in the Western region.....

  • A Mayo TD wants extra capacity immediately in the Cervical Check scheme, to deal with the backlog that is currently there.

    Mayo Fianna Fail Deputy Lisa Chambers was speaking after the revelations that up to 6,000 women are likely to be called for a retest after an issue at Quest Laboratories arose last November.

    The problem relates to standard HPV tests being carried out outside of the manufacturers recommended timeframe.

    The HSE has assured women who need a repeat smear following the issue, that they will be prioritised.

    Deputy Chambers broke the news of the latest issue with Cervical Check, following investigations which she began last November. Deputy Chambers is one of the women waiting on retest results for an extended period of time.

    As well as additional capacity, Deputy Chambers wants Minister for Health Simon Harris to come into the Dail and give answers on this latest controversy.

  • Mayo University Hospital in Castlebar, University Hospital Sligo and Galway University Hospital are  among the 13 hospitals nationally  where women were not informed of a delay in their cervical cancer diagnosis

    The HSE confirmed yesterday that 162 women – including 17 who have died ,are caught up in the latest cancer screening controversy.

    A review conducted by the HSE confirmed 208 women should have received earlier intervention than they did but only 46 individuals were made aware of this.

    The examination, conducted by national director of quality assurance at the HSE Patrick Lynch, confirmed 17 of these women have died. The cause of their deaths is not known.

    Mr Lynch said he could not state if these women were informed of the delayed diagnosis before they died but insisted their next of kin would be contacted by today at the very latest.

    All of the other women affected would also be informed by today and given an appointment with a clinician free of charge.

    HSE director-general Tony O’Brien apologised to all of the women involved and to their families for the “completely unacceptable” practices.

    This morning the government is expected to ask the health watchdog HIQA today to investigate the scandal and the way it was handled by the HSE.

    Health Minister Simon Harris will also bring forward proposals to Cabinet today to make it mandatory for doctors to have to tell patients about things that may affect them.

  • Galway East T.D. Seán Canney has welcomed Galway County Council granting planning permission for the new Community Nursing Home in Tuam.

    The existing building at Arus Mhuire was deemed not to be fit for purpose and the HSE decided to build a new 50 bed unit as a replacement.

    The new building will also include a 10 bed high dependency unit which is critical in a modern Nursing Home facility.

    The project is expected to cost in the region of €14 million and the late Joe O’Toole donated €7 million to the facility.

    Deputy Canney told Midwest News that the new healthcare facility will help alleviate pressure off hospitals when it is built.

  • The HSE has confirmed to Mayo deputy Dara Calleary that a month extension has been granted for the GP contract in Glenamoy and Bangor

    The deputy Leader of Fianna Fail says the news is welcome but has warned the HSE that any merging of GP surgeries in both areas will only succeed if the nurses and secretaries at the clinics are retained.

    He says, if in government, his party is committed to protecting rural GP practices by increasing their allowance to €30,000 while also implementing the recently agreed changes to the GP contract and include provisions for its continuous assessment and improvement to make the role of a rural GP a more attractive one.

  • More than 75% of the woman affected by the CervicalCheck controversy are now cancer free.

    According to HSE data, at least 165 of the 221 women diagnosed at stage two or earlier, now have no evidence of the active disease.

    However 21 of the 221 women have died, and 14 are still undergoing treatment, and their prognosis has not been shared.

    The figures also show a small number of women did not actually have cervical cancer at all.

  • The HSE has again apologised to almost families in counties Mayo and Roscommon for serious failings in audiology services provided to their children.

    Earlier this month, it emerged that the HSE carried out a review of services provided in the two counties from 2011 to 2015  as a result of concerns around some aspects of the quality of the service provided.

    Some children were left with lifelong impairments after the review of services provided in more than 900 cases.

    It was understood that one audiologist was involved who worked in the Mayo / Roscommon area for over ten years, providing services to young children.

    However, at yesterday's meeting of the HSE Regional Forum in Galway, FG Councillor Padraig Conneely called for the audiologist involved to be named and shamed.

    But HSE management then informed the councillor that it wasn't down to one individual - rather there were two contractual services involved.

    Councillor Conneely told Midwest News that this revelation raises further concerns....

  • Nearly 600 cases of mumps have been reported in Ireland so far this year.

    The latest figures from the HSE mean there's been more cases of the highly-contagious disease than all of 2018.

    Most of the cases are in teenagers and young adults, while men have had 54 percent of diagnoses so far.

    The figures show that in the Western region there were 96 cases reported, while in the North Western region there were 66.


  • Nearly half a million people missed hospital outpatient appointments last year, that's around 1,300 people a day.

    The HSE figures released to the Irish Times shows that almost 20 percent were related to STIs and 18 percent were psychiatry appointments.

    Nearly one fifth of patients failed to show up at Mayo University hospital last year, while St James's in Dublin had 17% no shows.

    It comes as the HSE struggles to cut waiting lists in hospitals around the country.

  • A new audit of women affected by the Cervical Check controversy has been commissioned by the HSE.

    It's due to a the low consent rate among the 221 plus women caught up in the controversy who were willing to participate in a government review by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in the UK.

    According to the Irish Times, only 31 percent were found to be taking part.

    The HSE is to create a healthcare team to carry out new audit, which it says it hopes will be complete by Christmas.

  • There's no guarantee that money will be available next year to commence construction of the long-awaited new 50-bed unit at the Sacred Heart Hospital in Roscommon.

    Prior to the 2016 general election, €9 million was announced for a replacement 50-bedroom unit for the facility in Roscommon Town, to bring it up to HIQA standards.

    However, work has not yet started on the development.

    The issue was raised again at this week's meeting of the HSE Regional Forum in Galway, where Roscommon Independent Councillor Tony Ward asked HSE management for an update on the plans.

    He was informed that a design team would be appointed for the project before the end of this year, but he's concerned that there was no commitment given in relation to funding to begin the construction work in 2020.

  • There's no indication when the ambulance service in the Co Roscommon village of Loughglynn will be extended to a 24-hour service.

    The issue was raised again at this week's HSE Regional Forum meeting by local Councillor Micheal Creaton, who asked management for an update on plans to extend the ambulance base to a round-the-clock service.

    Management said they're hoping to recruit 6 people for the ambulance by next month, but this would only be to provide a service during the day.

    Councillor Creaton says it's disappointing that there's no indication of when the ambulance base will operate on a 24-hour basis.

  • There are no plans by the HSE to construct a multi-story car park at Mayo University Hospital in Castlebar, despite the ongoing problem for patients and visitors accessing the hospital.

    That was confirmed by HSE management to Castlebar Independent councillor Michael Kilcoyne in response to a question submitted to a recent meeting of the HSE West forum.

    Despite almost 330,000 euro in net income from the carparking charges at the hospital last year (2017), and the constant raising by local councillors of the difficulties in elderly or disabled people accessing the facility from the car parking facilities available, the HSE has no plans to provide alternative parking.

  • There are no plans at all by the HSE West to expand the opening times of the new Primary Care Centre based out in Moneen , Castlebar. That was confirmed to the Cathaoirleach of Castlebar Municipal District Michael Kilcoyne by HSE management at the monthly HSE West Forum in Merlin Park.

    The newly built Primary Care Centre in Castlebar is open a year now, and while it offers a range of services Monday to Friday, during office hours, that otherwise would mean a hospital visit for patients, nonetheless, at weekends and over Bank holidays or late at night – patients must still attend the often overcrowded ED of Mayo University Hospital.

    Cathaoirleach Kilcoyne told Midwest News that in his opinion, these new premises provided across the county and funded by taxpayers, are not being used as efficiently as had been promised.

  • No progress was made on securing the future of the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea, following a meeting between local public representatives, family members, HSE officials and Minister Jim Daly on Wednesday night.

    According to both Fine Gael Senator Maura Hopkins and family advocate Liam Walsh, the status quo remains and the issue is no further on.

    The meeting was attended by Minister Daly, local representatives and Charlie Meehan Head of Mental Health Services and Tony Canavan Chief Health Officer.

    It was confirmed by the HSE officials that clinical assessments are continuing on the 12 residents of the unit but the families were informed in letters this week, that these assessments will not contribute the decision on the future plans for the Rosalie Unit but are being used to put care plans in place for residents.

    Tony Canavan is due to meet with Minister Daly again after the clinical assessments are complete.


    Liam Walsh’s mother is a resident at the Rosalie Unit. He too attended last night’s meeting.

    He said it is disappointing that the status quo remains and it is creating anxiety for the residents.

    Mr Walsh told Midwest News that when visiting his mother on the day of the meeting, another resident asked him to tell the Minister and HSE officials that they don’t want to leave the unit.

  • Nursing Unions and the HSE are due before the Labour Court today in a bid to resolve the dispute that led to a number of strike days last month.

    The two sides have failed to agree on a new contract which includes productivity measures for staff. 

    Recruitment and retention are at the heart of the row and the INMO claim current proposals fail to address the issues.