• 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 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.

  • HSE management have acknowledged that an ongoing dispute involving maintenance staff at Mayo University Hospital has resulted in some delays in getting maintenance work done at the hospital.

    Maintenance staff have been engaged in unofficial industrial action for several months, to highlight concerns over changes to their contract of employment.

    The protests have been taking place at lunchtime outside the hospital.

    Independent Castlebar Councillor Michael Kilcoyne raised the issue at a recent meeting of the HSE Regional Forum, and asked what impact the dispute is having.

    HSE management said the industrial action has resulted in some delays in getting general maintenance work done at the hospital, and said they're currently working with the maintenance department to resolve any issues.

    Councillor Kilcoyne told Midwest News that he believes the situation has been allowed to go on for too long.

  • Only 11 out of 176 approved mental health jobs have been filled in the last year.

    The HSE figures were obtained by Fianna Fáil as part of a parliamentary question.

    Despite approved funding of nearly 16 million euro, new staff have been hired for only 1 in 16 of the available positions since 2018.

  • The HSE says it will do everything it can to restore normal service following the suspension of this week's nurses strike.

     Outpatient appointments are set to go ahead as planned today and patients with appointments for today, tomorrow and Thursday are advised to attend as scheduled.

    Surgical patients will be contacted by their hospital if their procedure is going ahead.

    Nurses could get pay rises of around 7 percent as part of the Labour Court deal which will be balloted on within the next month

    Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe refused to be drawn on the details before briefing his Cabinet colleagues but he confirmed he would be recommending acceptance.

    Health Minister Simon Harris says he’s confident the HSE can quickly restore services to the country's hospitals.

    The INMO's Phil Ní Sheaghdha, says more negotiation is needed on some aspects of the deal.

    Meanwhile patient representatives say the industrial relations system has failed the people of Ireland with the length of time it's taken to get to this point, and lessons should be learned to ensure it doesn't happen again.



    More than €105,000 has been refunded after residential service users with intellectual disabilities in Co Roscommon were wrongly charged for the provision of incontinence wear.

    Details of the refund were included in a briefing by the HSE for the Dáil's Public Accounts Committee.

    The committee heard last week that health authorities told the Brothers of Charity in Co Roscommon in 1997 that service users would not receive funding for these products.

    On that basis, a number of service users were charged for incontinence wear between 2002 and 2013. It says the practice of charging for incontinence wear was stopped in 2013 following the investigation of a complaint made by the family of one of the individuals involved.

    A total of €105,335 was provided on a once-off basis to the Brothers of Charity to refund clients for the "inappropriate charges" and the service users have received a "full refund".

    Sligo Fianna Fáil TD Marc MacSharry now wants the HSE and Brothers of Charity to answer further questions on the matter before the Public Accounts Committee.

  • 623 people are on trolleys in hospitals across the country today. 

    That includes 32 patients at Sligo University Hospital, 29 at University Hospital Galway, 4 at Mayo University Hospital and 4 at Portiuncla Hospital in Ballinasloe.

    According to the INMO, the worst affected is Cork University Hospital with 58 people waiting on beds. 

    It's followed by University Hospital Limerick where 55 patients are on trolleys.

  • The person appointed to carry out an independent review of the clinical assessments carried out at the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea, has withdrawn from the process.

    That was confirmed to relatives of service-users of the facility yesterday.

    Clinical assessments were carried out earlier this year at the unit to establish the needs of the residents going forward.

    An independent review of those assessments was being carried out, after the assessments were concluded in May of this year.

    However the person appointed to carry out the review by the College of Psychiatrists has now withdrawn from the process.

    The review was due to be completed by September of this year but relatives of residents were informed yesterday that it will now be January of 2019 before the review is completed, as an independent third party is being sought to finish the work.

    Liam Walsh, whose mother is a resident at the Rosalie Unit told Midwest News today that it is further disappointing news for families.

  • An overtime ban was suspended yesterday after talks between Psychiatric Nurses' Association and the HSE.

    Progress made in the recruitment of nurses, but the focus will turn to allowances in more discussions next week.

    The PNA's Peter Hughes says there remains a threat of more industrial action.

  • The HSE is proposing to extend the service at the Loughglynn ambulance base in Co Roscommon to a 24 hour per day, 7 days per week service.

    At present, ambulances crews are deployed to the Loughglynn base for possibly a few hours per day, but it’s now proposed to extend it to a round-the-clock service, as the ambulance base covers a wide area of West Roscommon and East Mayo.

    The issue was discussed yesterday at the HSE Regional Forum meeting in Galway, where councillors were informed that discussions are already underway, and it's hoped to extend the service within the next 6 months.

    Loughlynn-based FG Councillor Micheal Creaton says it’s a welcome development as the ambulance base at present is only manned on a part-time basis.

  • A proposal to cancel registration for Áras Attracta in Swinford, a campus-based residential setting for people with intellectual disabilities in Swinford operated by the HSE has been withdrawn by the Health Information and Quality Authority.

    The decision was made following inspections carried out at the facility on January 8th and 9th of this year. The proposal to cancel their registration was issued in September 2017. However on foot of the latest inspection report, the Chief Inspector of Social Services in HIQA has withdrawn that proposal and is inviting the HSE to apply to register these centres. However HIQA has said in a statement that it remains concerned about the sustainability of these improvements and the areas of continued non-compliance.

    The Health Information and Quality Authority has published three inspection reports for centres in Áras Attracta today.

    It found that improvements had been made to residents’ safety and quality of life since the previous inspections in May 2017. The HSE had implemented, or was in the process of implementing, the majority of actions required following previous inspections, within the agreed time frames. Revised management and oversight arrangements had been put in place in all three centres and appropriate action was now being taken in relation to safeguarding concerns.

    Inspectors found that residents were now afforded more choice in how they spent their day and in how they decorated their bedrooms. Residents could now take part in activities of interest to them. Residents and their families could now participate in making decisions that affect them through regular resident and family forums. Some residents had recently moved out of the campus into more appropriate housing in the community, while other residents told inspectors that they were looking forward to their move into the community.

    However, improvements are required in a number of areas across the campus:

    • further improving oversight of the quality and safety of care,
    • increasing opportunities for residents to participate in education, training or employment,
    • completing fire prevention upgrade work, as required by the HSE’s fire consultant,
    • making sure residents have an accessible version of their personal plan,
    • providing further training to ensure staff can meet residents' assessed needs,
    • ensuring staff files contain all records to verify that they are appropriate to work in the centre, as required under the regulations.

    While there continues to be non-compliance in areas such as the workforce, risk management, governance, suitability of accommodation on the campus and aspects of social care provision, the HSE has submitted a satisfactory action plan to fully address these issues and bring the centres into full compliance with the regulations and standards.

    On the basis of the HSE’s overall plan for the campus and the action plans submitted following these inspections, HIQA has withdrawn the notices of proposal to cancel the registration of the campus. This will provide the HSE with an opportunity to fully implement their action plans. However, HIQA remains concerned about the sustainability of these improvements and will continue to monitor the campus closely to ensure that the provider continues to improve residents’ care, safety and quality of life. HIQA now expects to receive completed applications for the registration of centres in Áras Attracta and, when received, the Chief Inspector will give due consideration to these.




  • Hundreds of people will take to the streets across Ireland today to support ambulance staff.

    Paramedics have been on strike for several days since January, as they lobby the HSE to recognise their union, Nasra.

    The campaign continues today with protests in Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway cities.

  • 6,000 psychiatric nurses across the country will begin industrial action this evening.

    The Psychiatric Nurses' Association says its members will work only their contracted hours because of health management's failure to address a recruitment and retention crisis.

    The PNA says the overtime ban will continue until the issue is resolved.

    The HSE says it's putting measures in place to manage the situation, but has warned they may have to reduce the availability of services in the community, in order to maintain services in acute psychiatric units.

    HSE spokesman, David Walsh, is calling on the PNA to take part in talks at the Labour Court in an effort to resolve the dispute:

  • Public hospitals, healthcare facilities, day care centres and community nursing services will all be disrupted tomorrow, as the first day of industrial action by nurses looks set to go ahead.

    37,000 nurses who are members of the INMO will take part in a 24-hour work stoppage from 8am tomorrow morning in a row over pay, and recruitment & retention issues.

    The HSE has confirmed that elective surgical procedures and outpatient appointments have been cancelled.

    Local Injury Units will not operate tomorrow, and with the exception of cancer surgery, all other planned in-patient and day case surgery has been cancelled.

    All public day centres for older people or people with disabilities, where nurses are employed, will be closed tomorrow, all routine community nursing services and Health Centre clinics where nurses participate will also be cancelled.

    Hospital emergency departments, emergency theatres, maternity services, dialysis, palliative care and oncology services including chemotherapy and radiotherapy will operate during tomorrow's strike.

    However, the HSE is advising people only to attend Emergency Departments if absolutely necessary.

    Meanwhile, there are 587 patients on hospital trolleys across the country today.

    Galway University Hospital is the third-busiest in the country with 53 patients waiting for a bed.

    There are 40 patients on trolleys at Sligo University Hospital, 16 at Mayo University Hospital and 11 at Portiuncla Hospital in Ballinasloe.


  • A public meeting in Castlerea last night on the future of the Rosalie Unit heard that a now senior Minister had received written confirmation of assurances given in 2015 over the future of the unit.

    The meeting was held last night over fears about the future of the unit, which is currently home to 12 elderly patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

    The HSE has confirmed there will be no new admissions, while the families of residents are to be consulted about moving them to other facilities in Castlebar and Ballinasloe.

    Earlier yesterday a family delegation met with senior HSE official Tony Canavan, who told them that the unit is not in the future plans of the HSE.

    In 2015 the Rosalie Unit was in danger of closing but the situation was resolved and assurances were given at that time by Minister Kathleen Lynch and HSE officials about the future and longevity of the unit.

    Those assurances have been denied by HSE officials in recent months.

    However at last night’s meeting, Minister for Communications Denis Naughten read his notes from that meeting with the Minister in 2015 and also a letter he received from the private secretary to then Minister for Health Leo Varadkar, reiterating those commitments.

    Minister Naughten told Midwest News today that he has made representations to the Minister for Health and the HSE in recent days and says he expects that the commitments given in 2015 will be stood by.

  • The Rehab Group will engage with the HSE over the coming days to discuss concerns about funding.

    That's according to Health Minister, Simon Harris, who held a meeting with both organisations yesterday evening.

    The Rehab Group is warning it may have to issue the HSE with 12 months notice of a termination of services if it doesn't receive an extra 2 million euro in funding.

    More than 3000 service users and their families could be impacted by such a move, as well as 1500 staff members at 117 locations.

    However, Minister Simon Harris is hopeful a resolution can be found....