Mayo University Hospital

  • 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.

  • The Emergency Department of Mayo University Hospital is extremely busy this afternoon.

    According to the INMO, there are 26 patients waiting for admission to a bed today at the Castlebar based hospital which has been busy all week.

    Nationally, there are 601 patients waiting on trolleys today with 47 patients on trolleys at University Hospital Galway, which is the highest in the country.

    Elsewhere, there are 20 patients on trolleys at Sligo University Hospital and one patient today at Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe.

  • The general public should be asking Fine Gael election candidates on the doorsteps what the Government is doing about delivering a larger Emergency Department at Mayo University Hospital.

    That's according to Castlebar Independent Councillor Michael Kilcoyne, who says the large numbers of patient recorded on trolleys each month at the Castlebar hospital highlight the lack of an adequate Emergency Department to cater for the numbers presenting.

    At this month's meeting of the HSE Regional Forum, Councillor Kilcoyne sought figures from HSE management as to the number of patients on trolleys at Mayo University Hospital in the first three months of this year, and claims the numbers recorded are not acceptable.

  • A Mayo Fianna Fail TD has expressed her concern that serious regulatory breaches and poor hygienic conditions were found at the adult mental health unit in Mayo University Hospital following an inspection by the Mental Health Commission.

    Deputy Lisa Chambers says she was alarmed to read the report which identified risks to patients at the hospital. She said it is of concern that there were not enough therapeutic programmes in place and staff shortages were limiting occupational therapy, psychology and social work services.

    A report published yesterday shows the acute adult mental health centre was compliant with 61% of regulations, rules and codes of practice - down from 74% compliance in 2017.

    Of the 14 areas of non-compliance, 4 were deemed critical - including staffing and individual care plans for residents.

    The report says the premises was not clean, and rooms were not well-ventilated, while the walls had chipped paint with cigarette burns in the carpets.

    Numerous ligature risks were identified, and not all staff were trained in fire safety, basic life support, and management of aggression or violence.

    The standard of individual care plans for residents was very poor, according to inspectors.

    22 areas of inspection were compliant, according to the report, with ten of these areas rated excellent.

    Deputy Chambers told Midwest News that she is concerned about the findings and will be raising the matter with the Minister for Health.

  • The first Dublin2Mayo charity tractor run set out from Dublin yesterday on a two-day trip across the country in aid of two charity causes – Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin and the special care baby unit at Mayo University Hospital.

    The run is passing through towns across the west today as it makes its way to Breaffy House Hotel, where it is expected at around 4pm.

    It will pass through Claremorris, Knock, Kiltimagh, Bohola and Ballyvaryr en route to Castlebar this afternoon and bucket collections will be taken in each town.

    There is also a night of entertainment planned for Breaffy House tonight.

    Communicare Healthcare in Claremorris is the main sponsor of the event and Managing Director Rosaleen Kelly told Midwest News that she is very proud of the efforts of those involved.

  • The first baby born in Mayo in 2020 was born at Mayo University Hospital yesterday afternoon.

    The first arrival of the New Year was a baby boy, born to a couple from the Belmullet area.

    The baby, who has not yet been named, arrived into the world at 1.34 yesterday afternoon and both mother and baby are doing well, according to a hospital spokesperson.




  • Five years after Mayo University Hospital was declared a smoke-free campus, compliance with the policy has started to reduce, with patients and visitors frequently smoking outside the main entrances of the hospital.

    Hospital management are now starting a renewed focus on keeping the area around the hospital, and the hospital grounds, smoke-free.

    Visitors, patients and staff are asked to refrain from smoking anywhere on the grounds of the hospital.

    New signage has been installed around the hospital entrances, asking people not to smoke and reminding them how important it is to keep the air around the hospital clean.




  • Due to an on-going outbreak of norovirus in Mayo University Hospital, management is now asking for a full restriction on visiting. Arrangements will be made for family members of critically ill patients or those patients who require assistance or support of a family member; this should be arranged through the nurse on duty in the ward prior to arrival at the hospital.

    Any patient presenting to the hospital with recent symptoms of diarrhoea and/ or vomiting or had contact with others who have these symptoms MUSTnotify staff on arrival into the hospital so that contingency measures can be immediately put in place.

    The Hospital Management says it appreciates and thanks the community for their support for this patient safety measure.

  • Gardai are seeking public assistance in locating a prisoner who escaped from custody after being brought to Mayo University Hospital for treatment on Saturday morning last.

    The prisoner remains at large this morning, after the Irish Prison Service confirmed the incident happened at around 10am on Saturday morning last.

    The man, who was on remand in Castlerea Prison on a burglary charge, escaped the hospital on foot.

    He is 34 years of age and is described as being of an “athletic build” with brown hair.

    Anyone with information on his whereabouts has been asked to contact Castlebar Garda Station on 094 90 22222 or any Garda station.


  • The long awaited extension to the Emergency Department of Mayo University Hospital is at a standstill, as hospital management awaits funding approval from government for the development.

    That’s according to the General Manager of Mayo University Hospital, Catherine Donohue.

    The new, modular build ED unit, promised to the Castlebar facility eight years ago, would increase its capacity by 40 percent, and would go a long way in addressing the continuous overcrowding of patients on trolleys in the corridor of the unit.

    Catherine Donohue says the plans and costings of the new development are completed and have been submitted to the relevant government department but cannot proceed until capital funding is approved.

    To date this has not happened, yet the numbers of patients presenting at the ED of Mayo University hospital continues to increase.

    Speaking to Midwest News today Ms Donohue explained that it's her top priority to secure the extended ED which she explained will make hospital access safer for patients.


  • 27 patients had surgical procedures postponed earlier this month at Mayo University Hospital, due to a faulty water pump in the hospital's sterile services department.

    This also meant that surgical implements had to be sent to other hospitals in Galway and Sligo over the course of a week, as there was no water supply to the sterile service department at the Castlebar hospital -again due to the faulty water pump.

    The issue was raised at this week's meeting of the HSE Regional Forum, where Castlebar-based Independent Councillor Michael Kilcoyne questioned management on the impact of the incident, and how many patients had procedures cancelled or postponed as a result.

    Councillor Kilcoyne says there should be a back-up plan in place, for when such problems occur at a major hospital...

  • The Irish Prison Service has confirmed to Midwest News that a prisoner from Castlerea Prison, who was attending the emergency department of Mayo University Hospital yesterday, escaped from custody while at the hospital.

    A spokesperson for the Irish Prison Service told Midwest News this afternoon that they could confirm a male prisoner had escaped and that the Gardai have been notified and they are still actively seeking his return to custody.

  • Less than one-third of patients at Mayo University Hospital were admitted to a ward from the Emergency Department within the HSE's target waiting time of 6 hours.

    That's according to the findings of the National Inpatient Experience Survey carried out by HIQA, the HSE and the Dept of Health.

    846 people discharged from Mayo University Hospital in May this year were invited to participate in the survey, and 396 of these responded - which was a 47% response rate.

    In relation to admitting patients to a ward from the hospital's Emergency Department, the HSE's own target waiting time is 6 hours - but at Mayo University Hospital, only 32% of patients were admitted to a ward in that timeframe, while 60% of patients had to wait between 6 and 24 hours, and 8% were left waiting over 24 hours to be admitted to a ward - and most of these patients waited over 2 days for a bed.

    The majority of participants in the survey reported a positive experience at Mayo University Hospital - 52% said their overall experience was very good - but this was down from 60% last year, while 27% said their experience was good, and 21% replied "fair to poor".

    The survey shows three areas at the Mayo hospital that need improvement - the hospital scored below the national average when it came to patients being treated with respect and dignity, while only 56% of respondents thought the toilets and bathrooms were clean - which was below the national average

    The findings of the 2019 survey will be used to help Mayo University Hospital improve the experiences of patients in hospital.

  • Maintenance workers at Mayo University Hospital are undertaking a series of lunchtime protests, over changes in their contracts.

    Over the past number of weeks, the maintenance workers - who are members of SIPTU and Connect trade unions - have been protesting outside the hospital on their lunchbreak.

    They claim a number of changes are being made to their contracts of employment, without any negotiation with the HSE or hospital management.