Mayo University Hospital

  • Mayo University Hospital is deferring all but very urgent inpatient, day surgery, diagnostics tests and outpatient appointments from this morning, Monday March 16th until further notice. This is to ensure that the hospital has the necessary capacity to deal with any increase in suspected and confirmed COVID 19 cases.

    Commenting a Spokesperson for the Saolta Group said, “A small number of urgent cancer and time critical procedures, appointments or tests will proceed and these patients will advised directly by the hospital. Patients are asked not to attend the hospital unless they have had confirmation from the hospital that their appointment is going ahead. We would also ask these patients not to bring anyone with them unless it is absolutely necessary and children are not permitted to attend with patients.

    “We regret the impact that these deferrals will have on our patients but they are necessary in order to deal with the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19).”

    Visiting restriction continue across each of our hospitals in the Saolta Group. “We are again reminding the public not to visit any of our hospitals other than end of life situations and other exceptional circumstances as agreed with the ward manager in advance of visiting. To arrange a visit, families should telephone the hospital and request to speak to the relevant ward manager who will decide if a visit can be facilitated without compromising the welfare of the patients on the ward. It is particularly important that children do not visit patients in hospital.

     

     

    “We ask that members of the public help in the effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 by observing the visitor ban in our hospitals, by attending the Emergency Department at our hospitals only when necessary; by following relevant public health advice around hand hygiene, cough and sneeze etiquette and social distancing; and taking simple precautions to protect themselves, their loved ones and the wider community.”

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    Almost 1.5 million euro was raised in car parking charges at Galway University Hospital in 2017, the hospital’s car park is operated by a private company.

    At Mayo University Hospital , car parking charges are in the hospital’s control and 340,000 was collected in the car park.

    A  private company operates the car park at Portiuncula hospital in Ballinasloe, where 167,000 euro was raised last year.

    There are no car parking charges at Roscommon University Hospital.

    While a private operator collected just short of a half a million euro in car parking charges at Sligo University Hospital in 2017.

     

  •  Almost 5 million euro has been spent on ambulances to Mayo University Hospital over the past seven years, and according to Erris based Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway Walsh it’s too high a price to pay when the service is not under HSE control.

    The senator says the spending €4.8 million on private ambulances since 2011 does not constitute value for money and the money should instead have been spent purchasing and staffing new ambulances.

     She claims that the ambulance services in the HSE have suffered from years of cuts, under investment, and privatisation of ambulance services with over €31 million being spent on private ambulances by the HSE nationally since 2011.

    Mayo University Hospital and the State, she believes, need to ensure that we have a high quality, publicly owned stock of ambulances instead of putting money into the pockets of private companies which does not constitute fiscal prudence.

  • Ronan Fox, Head Chef at Mayo University Hospital, picked up his Aramark’s team Gold medal award in Kilkenny earlier this week.

    Aramark at Mayo University Hospital scooped the title of Ireland’s Healthcare Catererat the 2019 Gold Medal Awards, the leading independent awards programme for the Irish hospitality industry

    The awards recognise caterers who provide exceptional product and service offerings in the healthcare sector.

    Ronan has recently been named ‘Aramark Healthcare Executive Chef’ in recognition of his innovative work and leadership in healthcare food services.

    He told Midwest news today that he is really proud of the talented Aramark team at Mayo University Hospital.

    Our primary focus, he explained, “is always on how we can better meet patient needs and we are committed to delivering a quality of service that always keeps those needs at its heart”.

  • The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) needs to be called in to establish what is happening at Mayo University Hospital in relation to the crossover of hospital staff with covid and non covid patients.

    That’s the view of the Cathaoirleach of Castlebar Municipal District Michael Kilcoyne.

    The call comes after extensive attempts have been made by the Cathaoirleach, by Midwest News and many others to clarify if there continues to be a crossover of staff at the Castlebar Hospital between patients with and without the virus.

    Since last week Midwest News has sought an interview with the CEO of Saolta Tony Canavan or the Manager of Mayo University Hospital Catherine Donohoe - but neither have been available about this question of staff dealing with both patients tested positive with the virus and non covid patients.

    Finally yesterday afternoon we did receive a written statement from Saolta and while it provides some information on the management of patients at the hospital around the pandemic, it does not answer the direct question asked, about the crossover of staff between covid and non covid patients.

    This morning again Midwest News was contacted by a number of listeners who insist that up to last number of days there were non-covid patients on wards with patients who had tested positive for the virus.

    Midwest News contacted Saolta again today and asked about this alleged practice and we are awaiting a response.

  • A quarter (25%) of the 339 now confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Mayo are made up of staff at Mayo University Hospital. That’s according to the Cathaoirleach of Castlebar Municipal District Michael Kilcoyne.

    He is now calling for Health and Safety Authority (HSA) to be brought into investigate what’s happening at Mayo University Hospital and he wants Saolta, the group responsible for the running of acute hospitals in this region, to demand the intervention.

    Cathaoirleach Kilcoyne says the number of Mayo University Hospital staff with the virus is of real concern, and he claims that management of the hospital have questions to answer. He says he has been informed that in some cases staff at the hospital are working across departments- working with covid-19 patients, and others. This, he says, is not happening at Galway University Hospital, and the number of confirmed cases of the virus in county Galway is at present 10 percent lower than in the considerably less populated county of Mayo.

    Speaking to Midwest News today Cllr Kilcoyne also urged the government deputies in Mayo to ask Minister Harris to urgently look at the problem.

    The councillor raised his concerns over the incidents of the virus in county Mayo earlier this week at the monthly meeting of Mayo County Council.

    Midwest West News has again today sought comment from Saolta on the situation at the Castlebar hospital and we await a response. We had sought clarification from Saolta on Monday on the high incidents of the virus in Mayo, but no comment was supplied.

     

     

  • A Castlebar Councillor has asked the HSE why they haven’t made the public aware of an outbreak of the CPE superbug at Mayo University Hospital.

    Independent Councillor Michael Kilcoyne raised the matter at the recent HSE Regional Health Forum meeting this week.

    Ann Cosgrove of the Saolta University Healthcare Group confirmed that through screening processes at Mayo University Hosptial, an increase in the numbers of cases of CPE has been identified.

    She said that all patients that were affected have been communicated with directly by their relevant Consultants.

    Communication has been sent internally throughout the hospital and management is currently working on more detailed information for the public on general issues relating to CPE.

    CPE is an antibiotic resistant organism and for most patients who carry CPE, it never causes any illness but lies harmlessly in the gut. However it can cause major issues in some patients with comprised immune systems.

    Cllr Kilcoyne says he cannot understand why the public haven’t been informed about these increased cases.

  • 748 tests for Covid-19 were carried out at Mayo University Hospital between 25th May and 14th June.

    The figures were given by the HSE at yesterday's online meeting of the Regional Health Forum in response to queries from Castlebar Councillor Michael Kilcoyne.

    Over the same 3 week period, almost 700 Covid-19 tests were carried out in the community in Co Mayo.

    571 of the Mayo tests were positive.

    However, Councillor Kilcoyne was informed that Covid-19 tests are not available on demand from people concerned about caring for elderly or vulnerable people - they must be referred by a GP.

    Councillor Kilcoyne had also asked about the total number of people who died at Mayo University Hospital and other HSE healthcare facilities in Co Mayo since the start of the pandemic - but was told that this information could not be provided.

    Councillor Kilcoyne told Midwest News this evening that it was more a case of the Saolta Hospital Group refusing to provide the figures.

  • A service needs to be provided at Mayo University Hospital for people who require cataract operations.

    That's according to Castlebar Independent Councillor Michael Kilcoyne, who says it's unfair that Mayo patients requiring treatment for cataracts are referred to hospitals in Galway and Sligo.

    There are currently over 1800 people on waiting lists at Galway and Sligo University Hospitals for an appointment with a consultant in relation to cataracts, with some people waiting up to two years for a consultation, before their procedure can go ahead.

    The figures were provided to Councillor Kilcoyne at this week's meeting of the HSE Regional Forum in Galway. 

  • Minister Simon Harris has asked the CEO of the HSE to compile a report addressing the issues raised, over several weeks now, around the management of Covid and non covid patients at Mayo University Hospital .

    Minister Harris confirmed that to Mayo Fianna Fail deputy Dara Calleary in the Dail this afternoon.

    Yesterday evening, after days being asked - Saolta issued a statement to Midwest News saying that at Mayo University Hospital Covid 19 and non covid 19 patients are not in the same wards and that there is no crossover of staff between patients with the virus and those without it.

    In summary the statement said .. there are two pathways of care in Mayo University Hospital. One pathway is to cater for patients with COVID-19 and patients with suspected COVID-19. The second pathway is for non COVID-19 patients. Each pathway has separate wards, separate emergency departments and also separate intensive care units.

    Concluding.. staff do not treat patients with COVID-19 as well as non COVID-19 patients.

    Last Thursday Deputy Calleary had asked Minister Harris to intervene and secure a response from Saolta on what was happening at the Castlebar hospital in light of the many issues of concern around the management of Covid and non Covid patients at the hospital highlighted by local politicians, local and national media and the families of patients in the hospital for weeks and days now.

    This evening Deputy Calleary says he has been told by Minister Harris that the CEO of the HSE Paul Reid will undertake a report on the situation at Mayo University Hospital and address the many questions and concerns that have been raised.

    Details of the timeframe for that report have not yet been announced

  • The fact that a quarter of all confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Mayo are staff members of Mayo University Hospital is similar to both national and international trends with this pandemic, according to Tony Canavan, the CEO of the HSE West.

    At present there are 365 positive cases of the virus in Mayo, compared to 315 confirmed cases in the higher populated county of Galway.

    Yesterday the Cathaoirleach of Castlebar Municipal District Michael Kilcoyne raised his concerns over these figures on our lunchtime News. He also indicated that there is crossover by staff at the Mayo hospital, with some staff treating Covid 19 patients and others.

    Tony Canavan has admitted to Midwest news this afternoon that, that had been the case until earlier this week, but insists the practice has now been discontinued.

    He says it’s too early in this pandemic, as yet, to say why the incidents of Covid 19 appear to be higher in Mayo than other Connaught counties.

     

  • The Saolta Hospital group needs to make a statement urgently on claims of a crossover of nursing staff between Covid and non-Covid patients at Mayo University Hospital.

    That's the view of Mayo Fianna Fail TD Dara Calleary, who has also written to the Minister for Health this morning asking that he provide a report on the matter to the Dail.

    Nurses at the Castlebar Hospital claim the crossover of staff between Covid positive and negative patients has continued up to this week, despite a claim by the Saolta Hospital group CEO Tony Canavan on Midwest News several weeks ago that this practice had ceased from 21st April.

    Midwest News again contacted the Saolta Hospital group last night to ask if there is currently any crossover of staff between positive and negative patients, and to request a further interview with hospital management.

    We were informed this morning that CEO of the Saolta Group Tony Canavan is not available for interview today. We have requested that he, or the hospital manager, speak with us as soon as possible.

    Councillor Michael Kilcoyne, Cathaoirleach of the Castlebar Municipal District, has now called on the Minister for Health Simon Harris to investigate what's going on at the Castlebar hospital, with the aim of preventing the further spread of the virus among patients and staff.

    This lunchtime, Deputy Dara Calleary says he has now raised these concerns at Ministerial level, but says hospital management also need to respond as a matter of urgency...

  • The emergency department at Mayo University hospital had in excess of thirty people on trolleys waiting for a bed on more than two occasions in the past week.

    Midwest News spoke to a person who was in the ED at the Castlebar hospital on Sunday and again yesterday when there were 36 patients all on trolleys in cubicles and along the corridor of the ED. The person who spoke to us was there with an elderly parent.

    On Sunday the patient waited on a trolley for hours and was eventually discharged, only to be re-admitted yesterday, after waiting hours on a chair to eventually get a trolley.

    The man who spoke to Midwest News ,does not wish to be identified, but described the conditions as he and his ill parent  experienced it yesterday (Monday) and the day before (Sunday).

    He described the conditions as "dreadful" with no room for staff to deal with sick people. He described it as "third world conditions" and said it is completely unacceptable.

    He has today written to the Minister for Health Simon Harris and the HSE about the experience and stresses that staff at the hospital are not to blame for the experience.

  • Today is World COPD Day, and to mark the event, Mayo University Hospital will host an information day on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

    The event takes place in the main foyer of the hospital between 10am and 2pm and the hospital's respiratory team will be on hand to offer advice on stopping smoking, inhaler technique and breathing techniques.

    There will also be spirometry testing available, which is a simple diagnostic test to measure how fast air can move in and out of the lungs, and indicate if there's an obstruction in the airways.

    The hospital is inviting anyone aged over 35 with risk factors including smoking and passive smoking, genetic factors or a history of severe chest infections in childhood to come along this morning for advice.

     

     

  • The Cathaoirleach of the Castlebar Municipal District has called for an enquiry, after confidential medical records from a number of patients who attended Mayo University Hospital were found dumped in a local housing estate.

    Hospital management have apologised in writing to a number of former patients, recently discharged from the hospital, whose personal details were found in a refuse sack at the housing estate in Castlebar.

    Refuse staff attached to Mayo County Council made the disturbing find earlier this month, and the council alerted hospital management.

    Management at Mayo University Hospital has now written to the patients informing them of the breach of data protection,and apologising for the breach of confidentiality.

     The letter of apology contained an assurance that Mayo University Hospital treats such matters with 'the utmost seriousness' and said corrective measures have been put in place to prevent such an incident from happening again.

    Hospital management says the matter has been reported to the HSE Consumer Affairs Department and  the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner.

    Castlebar-based Independent Councillor Michael Kilcoyne says he's shocked to hear that sensitive medical data could end up in a refuse bag in a housing estate about a mile from the hospital, and has called for an enquiry into what happened, and who was responsible.

     

     

     

     

    He says that, over the years, there have been a number of data breaches relating to the HSE West region, and is calling for an enquiry into what happened and who was responsible.

  • A Mayo Councillor is calling on the HSE to provide additional short-term parking spaces close to the entrance at Mayo University Hospital.

    At present, there are just a few parking spaces located at the front of the hospital, close to the hospital entrance and Emergency Department entrance, for those dropping off patients.

    Ballinrobe-based Fianna Fail Councillor Damien Ryan has called on the HSE to provide additional parking close to the entrance, and has suggested using a green area at the front of the hospital for this purpose.

    Councillor Ryan raised the issue at this week's meeting of the HSE Regional Forum, where management said they would investigate the possibility of providing more short-term parking at Mayo University Hospital.

  • The Health Minister will be questioned in the Dáil today over the delays in proceeding with the extension of the Emergency Department at Mayo University Hospital.

    Fianna Fail’s Deputy leader, Mayo TD Dara Calleary, will question Minister Simon Harris on the issue, saying that even though proposals have been submitted to the HSE, there is no sense of urgency in moving towards construction.

    In the meantime, Deputy Calleary says staff work and patients are treated under intolerable conditions at the Emergency Department in Castlebar, and he’s calling for an urgent response from the Minister and from the HSE.

     

     

  • It's eight years since a modular extension was proposed for the Emergency Department at Mayo University Hospital, but the Government has not yet approved the plan - according to Mayo Fianna Fail TD Lisa Chambers.

    Due to ongoing overcrowding in the Emergency Department, hospital management applied for a modular unit, which would provide between 12 and 20 additional beds - to reduce pressure and the numbers of patients waiting on trolleys.

    However, the HSE is "still considering the application", according to a response given to a parliamentary question from Deputy Chambers.

    The Fianna Fail TD says it's incredible that the HSE is still considering the application eight years later....

  • With 26 patients on trolleys at Mayo University Hospital, management have confirmed that the Emergency Dept is very busy today with a number of patients awaiting admission, and they're advising people attending the Emergency Department to expect delays.

    The public are being urged only to attend in cases of emergencies, and to contact their GP in the first instance.

    The Full Capacity Protocol has been implemented at the Castlebar hospital, and efforts are being made to identify patients ready for discharge.

    As a result of the pressure, non-urgent elective surgery is being deferred.

    Hospital management says they regret having to postpone any elective procedure, and recognise it's distressing for the patients and their families.

  • Some elective procedures have been deferred at Mayo University Hospital today, where there are 30 patients on trolleys, according to the latest figures from the INMO.

    Across the country, there are 583 patients on trolleys today, including 35 at University Hospital Galway, 30 at Mayo University Hospital and 16 at Sligo University Hospital.  

    In a statement to Midwest News, the Saolta group says Mayo University Hospital continues to be extremely busy today with limited beds available throughout the hospital.

    This is resulting in delays in the Emergency Department, and management have apologised for the distress and inconvenience caused to patients and their families who are experiencing long wait times to be admitted to a bed.

    Management also say they've had to defer some elective patients due to attend the hospital today, and have apologised for the inconvenience, saying they will continue to keep electives under review over the course of this week.

    The Saolta hospital group is again reminding the public only to attend the Emergency Department in the case of real emergencies, and to contact their GP in the first instance, while the Roscommon University Hospital Injury Unit is open 7 days per week from 8am to 8pm.