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Tag Archives: Colette Cowan

HSE Appeals For Continued Adherence To Public Health Guidelines

CLARE people have been asked to continue strictly adhering to public health guidelines combating the spread of Covid-19, despite a major drop in the 14-day incidence of the virus throughout the Mid-West. This come as official statistics show the 14-day incidence of the virus in the Banner has fallen recently from 1,386% to 536%. Interestingly, the 14-day incidence rate in Tipperary at 559% is now higher than Clare, but is much lower than Limerick, which stands at 781%. According to figures produced by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre, there were 1,647 new cases of Covid-19 in Clare, 3,325 in Limerick and 1,558 in Tipperary from January 12 to January 25. The five-day moving average from January 21 to 25 is 62 in Limerick, 25 in Clare and 44 in Tipperary. The Department of Public Health Mid-West and HSE Mid-West Community Healthcare are urging people in the Mid-West to not get distracted by the gradual decrease in Covid-19 cases, and to …

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No timescale for elective surgery deferrals

HOSPITAL waiting lists look set to increase significantly again following the cancellation of the majority of scheduled surgery and outpatient appointments in public acute facilities amid concern from a local senator Covid-19 is spreading in Clare like “wildfire”. UL Hospitals’ Group has confirmed the deferral, until further notice, of the majority of scheduled surgery and outpatient appointments across the group. This includes University Hospital Limerick, Ennis Hospital, Nenagh Hospital, St John’s Hospital and Croom Orthopaedic Hospital. University Maternity Hospital Limerick is unaffected by the reductions. The number of Clare and Mid-West public in-patient and day case waiting lists soared from 4,198 in January 2020 to 6,612 last November, while the numbers on outpatients’ lists jumped dramatically from 47,134 to 55,088 during the same period. There has been an increase of almost 3,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases in the Mid-West from December 19 to January 3. According to official statistics, the number of positive cases in Clare jumped from 1,546 to 2,135; …

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HSE outlines joint €35.7 million Winter Plan

SIGNIFICANT increases in hospital bed capacity and development of a range of integrated community care packages and enhanced home care supports are at the core of the joint €35.7 million UL Hospitals’ Group (ULHG) and HSE Mid-West Community Healthcare Winter Plan for 2020-21. The Winter Plan is a range of integrated measures aimed at keeping the residents of the Mid-West well and ensuring the safe provision of care in our hospitals during a period of unprecedented challenge for the health services. While Covid-19 remains prevalent within the community, the total Winter Plan investment of almost €36m will improve access to appropriate care at home or close to home, with an emphasis on hospital avoidance. Under the plan, more than €20 million is allocated to UL Hospitals’ Group for investment in staffing for its ongoing expansion of single-room bed capacity, primarily at University Hospital Limerick (UHL). Since the Autumn, UHL has opened 38 beds in new rapid-build bed blocks constructed under …

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Phased opening of new €19.5 million 60-bed modular unit starts next Monday

THE new €19.5 million 60-bed block modular unit to tackle overcrowding at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) will be fully operational almost two months after a recent predicted timeframe given by a government minister. Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Mary Butler stated in the Seanad recently “from a construction perspective, the new ward block should be ready to be operational by Monday, November 9”. However, it has now been confirmed the long-awaited modular unit will come on stream in three distinct phases, starting with 20 beds next Monday and will not be fully operational until January. Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has told Deputy Cathal Crowe a new 20-bed ward, which is part of the 60-bed unit will open next Monday, this will be followed by a further 20 in December and the final 20 will be up and running in January. “A state-of-the-art facility will be in place at UHL now, and the timing couldn’t be better …

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Elective Procedures cancelled at Ennis Hospital due to Covid-19 outbreak

ALL routine outpatient appointments and the majority of elective procedures scheduled for this Thursday and Friday have been cancelled in University Hospital Limerick and Ennis Hospital, as both hospitals manage active outbreaks of Covid-19. Significant numbers of staff are currently off work and self-isolating having either tested positive for Covid-19 or been designated as close contact. Outbreak control teams established in both locations are working closely with public health and occupational health colleagues and all the relevant HPSC guidance is being followed as we work to contain the virus and to protect patients and staff. Contact tracing and testing of staff and patients is continuing and the group are putting into effect all the appropriate infection control measures to mitigate the risk. The UL Hospitals’ Group has experienced considerable staffing challenges in recent days and just under 50 patients had their procedures cancelled on Monday, November 9th. The Group’s Hospital Crisis Management Team took the difficult decision on Wednesday to …

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Councillor Murphy seeks improvements in diabetes treatment

COUNCILLOR Cillian Murphy has requested actions to provide insulin pump therapy and Type One Diabetes Self-Management Education for  Clare adults with Type One diabetes. Speaking at a HSE West Forum meeting on Tuesday, Councillor Murphy asked the HSE if it could confirm whether diabetes dietitians and diabetes specialist nurses posts have been included by the UL Hospitals’ Group in their 2021 Budget Estimates. If this is the case, he wondered when would the public be informed when these vital posts were approved. UL Hospitals’ Group chief executive officer, Colette Cowan confirmed there is only one whole-time equivalent (WTE) consultant endocrinologist in UL Hospitals’ Group working with adult diabetic patients and noted a second consultant endocrinologist is due to commence in October 2020. The adult diabetes service is supported by a dedicated team of clinical nurse specialists (CNS) and staff nurses. Diabetic nurse support is available in St Johns, Ennis and University Maternity Hospital Limerick. In addition there are currently two …

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Thirty healthcare staff reassigned to other duties in UL Hospitals’ Group

ABOUT 30 staff who are considered vulnerable workers are being reassigned to other duties in the UL Hospitals’ Group, it emerged this week. The reassignment was completed in compliance with the Return to Work Safely Protocol produced by the Health and Safety Authority, HSE and the Department of Health, and in accordance with human resources and occupational health guidance. In an overview of Covid-19 circulated for county councillors, UL Hospitals’ Group chief executive officer, Colette Cowan revealed local laboratory testing for Covid-19 at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) reached a new high of 280 tests in a single day recently. The group’s microbiology team and medical scientists have worked extremely hard to scale up testing and they are now at the limits of what can be achieved with existing equipment. The group are sourcing new test instruments that will allow it to further increase and enhance local testing capacity at UHL. Stocks of Personal Protective Equipment within the group are currently …

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Plan calls for new ‘Urgent Care Centre’ to ease overcrowding at regional hospital

THE development of a new ‘Urgent Care Centre’ at University Hospital Limerick has been recommended in a new draft plan by a Mid-West steering group looking at ways to alleviate overcrowding at the hospital. The news is confirmed in response to a parliamentary question from Clare TD Joe Carey. Deputy Carey directly raised the issue with the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly. The local Fine Gael TD asked the minister if he was aware of the proposal to develop the Urgent Care Centre at University Hospital Limerick and if the necessary resources would be provided “to advance the plan and deal with chronic overcrowding at the hospital”. In reply, Minister Donnelly forwarded a response from UL Hospitals Group chief executive Colette Cowan. Ms Cowan confirmed to Deputy Carey, “A Mid-West Integrated Care Steering Group comprising staff from HSE MidWest Community Healthcare, UL Hospitals Group, National Ambulance Service and the Department of Public Health MidWest has developed a draft plan for an …

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