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Tag Archives: HSE

Rural GP services struggling

BELEAGUERED rural Ireland is facing another serious crisis, which could see doctors and their GP services being withdrawn in many areas. The warning has been sounded by West Clare-based Dr Michael Kelleher, who is a member of the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) Committee. “Rural Ireland has long been neglected by different governments and we’ve all seen the desperate consequences as garda stations closed, post offices were shut down, hospital services were downgraded and so many other critical services were withdrawn from rural communities,” he observed. “This [medical] crisis has being developing slowly over a number of years; cuts that this Government (and the last one) made to the budget for general practice has hit rural GPs harder than most. The population of rural GPs is getting older and as more retire or pass away, there are fewer and fewer young GPs interested in taking on the job when the resources just aren’t available to provide a proper service. Already there …

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HSE apology over infant’s death

The parents of a baby girl who died in her mother’s arms shortly after birth have sharply critisised the HSE for the pain and torment they have endured while waiting over six years for an apology. Caoimhe Mulcair, the daughter of Joan and John Mulcair of Westbury, Corbally, was born and died on February 11, 2009 at University Maternity Hospital Limerick. Caoimhe was conceived through IVF after her parents had been trying to start a family for a number of years. Following repeated denials of liability, the HSE made an out-of-court settlement with the Mulcairs last December and an admission of clinical negligence. However, the couple did not receive any apology until Monday, some six and a half years after their loss. A jury at an inquest into the baby’s death today returned a verdict of medical misadventure after a letter was read out on behalf of the CEO of the UL Hospitals Group, Professor Colette Cowan, who apologised for …

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Extra psychiatric nurses hired after alleged assaults on staff

THE Health Service Executive (HSE) has agreed to recruit an extra 14 psychiatric nurses, following 36 alleged assaults on staff working in the Galway Mental Health Service for the first four months of the year. Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) secretary, Des Kavanagh has confirmed that the number of psychiatric nurses working in the Galway Mental Health Service is to increase from 50 to 64. In an interview with The Clare Champion, Mr Kavanagh said he recently met senior HSE managers to discuss ways to address the huge number of alleged assaults that were taking place in the service. He said the union was very concerned about the chronic staff shortage and the reluctance of management to call in additional staff on overtime or to hire agency personnel. Stating that staffing levels were at “critical levels”, he said the High Observation Unit in the Department of Psychiatry at University Hospital Galway had to remain closed due to a lack of staff. …

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Temporary closure of daycare facilities at Raheen and Regina House

Elderly residents are facing into a period of time without daycare facilities, after the HSE made the decision to close both Raheen Community Hospital in Tuamgraney and Regina House in Kilrush. However,  Mary Cassidy of the Support Group for Raheen Hospital says the HSE’s decision to temporarily close the daycare centres in Tuamgraney and Kilrush will upset many service users and their families. In a statement, the HSE says the decision has come about because of a lack of nurses, and that this is caused by factors including annual leave, sick leave and them unavailability of agency staff. Long-term residents at the two nursing homes are being prioritised, with available nursing staff being used to cater for their needs, the statement read. The HSE insists the closure will only be for “a couple of weeks”.

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Kilkee asbestos clean up postponed

WORK due to begin today (Monday) on phase two of the asbestos pipe clean up operation in Kilkee has been postponed until Wednesday at the earliest. Talks are currently ongoing between the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Clare County Council and the HSE regarding the provision of a “method statement” to local residents. Last week, Kilkee resident PJ Linnane said that unless residents living close to the dump sites were provided with a full method statement by Clare County Council, they would stop contractors from starting phase two of the clean up work on Monday. “I met with some of the locals and a decision was taken that if the council were not to provide us with the documents, the only option open to us was to bar the site on Monday and lock and chain the access to the contractors,” he told The Clare Champion. A  report completed last year concluded that the instances of asbestos pipe dumping at a number of …

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Closure of rehab unit raised in Dáil

THE “unacceptable” temporary closure of a rehabilitation unit at St Joseph’s Geriatric Hospital in Ennis was highlighted in the Dáil on Wednesday by Deputy Michael McNamara. The shutdown of this specialised unit on Friday last was raised by Deputy McNamara, after his initial attempt to secure a discussion under ‘Topical Debates’ last week was not allowed. The facility has a total potential capacity of 142 beds, including 22 that are consultant-led and are utilised for the purpose of rehabilitation for appropriately identified patients’ post acute care – medical or surgical. In a statement issued to The Clare Champion, the HSE stressed, “This is not a closure of the rehabilitation unit but only a temporary measure, for the shortest period of time possible and will not affect the patients receiving their rehabilitation care”. The authority pointed out the 14 patients that were transferred into another ward are still receiving rehabilitation. When Deputy McNamara learned about the closure, he was told there …

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Influx of rats at Lees Road Complex

USERS of the Lees Road complex have been told to stick to the pathways, following an outbreak of rats in the area. Council clearing work for the West Clare Greenway cycle path is likely to be a factor in the recent sightings of an influx of rats close to the Clare County Council-owned Lees Road Complex, the manager believes. Local dumping may also be a contributing factor. Sightings of the rats have been reported since the fine weather in early April. The rise in temperatures and a milder-than-usual winter may also be factors in the unusual amount of rodents in the area, said Tim Forde, manager of the Lees Road Complex. A number of local residents and users of the complex have contacted The Clare Champion in recent days to report the unusual numbers of rats seen around the Lees Road area. “We’re aware of the situation,” Mr Forde told The Clare Champion. “We have been listening to the feedback …

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Call goes out for hospital upgrade

Mayor of Ennis Johnny Flynn has led the call for a meeting with the new CEO of UL Hospital Group in a bid to secure a 24-hour emergency department at Ennis General Hospital. Another Ennis Municipal District Councillor, James Breen, has challenged the council members to hold a protest at the next meeting of the HSE and offered to lead the protest wherever the meeting is taking place. Professor Colette Cowan was appointed to head the hospital group last December and Councillor Flynn said it is time to take their case to the new CEO to try to put a stop to the drain of health expertise from the county into Limerick. Speaking at a Clare County Council meeting, Councillor Flynn said the drain of expertise began a decade ago with the set-up of the HSE and has snowballed to such an extent that stopping it is like trying to turn an oil tanker. “When you looked at the HSE …

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