pandemic

  • Outpatient appointments and elective procedures in the health service nationally are to be fully restored from June, under official plans for a safe return of services that have been curtailed by Covid-19.

    According to the Irish Times, cancer services will not be fully resumed until the end of this year, while 30 per cent of health appointments will be conducted on the phone or by video call, according to the three-phase plan drawn up by the HSE.

    Efforts to clear the massive backlog of appointments and procedures that has built up during the pandemic are unlikely to begin until the autumn, the plan says, and will require private sector input.

    It warns commitments to resume non-Covid services are “conditional on there being no further major surges and full implementation of the vaccination programme”.

    The risk of flu and other respiratory conditions next winter could put plans to return to normal activity under pressure, the document also warns.

    The return of services is projected to take place in three phases: March to June; July to September; and October to December.

    The plan says adequate staffing is the most critical challenge to restoring services. Absenteeism is expected to decline as Covid-19 cases fall and with widespread vaccination of staff, but carried-over annual leave will impact on staffing.

  • Mayo Sinn Fein deputy Rose Conway Walsh in the last number of days has experienced first-hand the GP contact, setting up of a Covid test and securing a result. She describes the system in Mayo as very efficient.

    The deputy says the increase in cases of the virus in the community is of real concern.

    She told Midwest News today that she believes this third wave of the virus is more worrying than at any other stage of the pandemic.

    She pleaded with everyone to reduce their contacts now

  • Castlebar based company Fort Wayne Metals has designed and produced a set of eye-catching Covid-19 awareness material for Mayo University Hospital.

    At the height of the pandemic in April, the company offered practical help to hospital management, and has since designed, tested and produced a range of materials for staff - including stickers, posters and keyboard pop-ups with key messages highlighting the importance of hand hygiene, PPE and maintaining a clean and safe environment for everyone in the hospital.

    Catherine Donohoe, Mayo University Hospital Manager, says they are very grateful to Anthony McHale and his team at Fort Wayne Metals for their support, and said the company went the extra mile to provide a stock of high-quality materials to use, going forward into the winter.

    Anthony McHale is the Training and Development Manager at Fort Wayne Metals he explained to Midwest News today about the expertise they offered the hospital during a pandemic.

  • The Mayor of Galway, Mike Cubbard  has come up with an initiative to help ease loneliness and isolation during the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Mayor Cubbard has been reaching out to people in his community by writing letters with a personal touch. The response is said to be  hugely positive.

    It follows his recent call-out on local media for people to contact him with details of those who feel alone and isolated. Within days there were dozens of nominations.

    Mayor Cubbard said he will keep reaching out to all those missing the embrace of a loved one, a regular family visit, or catching up with friends.

    He plans to deliver surprise bouquets and chocolates closer to Christmas.

  • We're being warned the next seven days are vital to see if we can contain the spread of the coronavirus.

    2,910 people now have Covid 19 here and 54 people have lost their lives, with one death in the west in the last 24 hours.

    New figures show we are flattening the curve as the daily growth of cases has decreased from 33 to 15 per cent.

    But Professor Phillip Nolan from the Modelling Advisory Group says we can't become complacent.

    Tougher travel restrictions into and on the island of Ireland will be discussed when the National Public Health Emergency Team meets this morning.

    New measures to stop the spread of Covid-19 in nursing homes will also be discussed.

    It could take up to 10 days for people to receive the result of their coronavirus test. Many testing centres have faced problems because of a shortage of equipment.

    Dr Cillian de Cascun from the Coronavirus Expert Advisory Group says it's disappointing but they're working on it.

    The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in western counties now stands as: 28 in Mayo, 77 in Galway, 19 in Sligo and 10 in Roscommon

     

  • History will record that as a state we 'spectacularly failed the nursing home sector' during the pandemic. That’s the view of Sligo Leitrim TD Marc MacSharry

    The Fianna Fail TD, who was commenting on the high mortality rates in nursing home settings from the coronavirus, has called for stringent measures to be implemented quickly in settings with vulnerable people from now on to deal with the public health crises.

    Deputy MacSharry told Midwest News that he believes that more stringent measures should have been implemented sooner to save lives in the sector.