Mayo University Hospital

  • Elective surgery has re-commenced at Mayo University Hospital, following the coronavirus emergency.

    Much of the hospital's elective and non-emergency procedures were deferred during the crisis to ensure there was necessary space in the hospital to treat confirmed and suspected Covid-19 patients.

    However, Consultant Surgeon Professor Kevin Barry says they have now re-commenced elective inpatient and endoscopy at the Castlebar hospital, and will be gradually increasing the number of patients during the coming weeks.

    Day-case surgery will recommence over the next week, and Professor Barry says they will continue to further increase the level of surgery taking place in the hospital over the Summer months.

    In a statement to Midwest News, Professor Barry says the hospital's Emergency Department continues to see patients 24 hours a day, and it's important that patients come to the hospital if they need urgent care.

    He says people should not ignore possible symptoms of serious and potentially life-threatening illnesses such as heart attack or stroke.

    Emergency surgery continues, as always, so patients who may suffer trauma following an accident or fall should attend the Emergency Department for treatment.

    Outpatient appointments have also resumed at Mayo University Hospital.

    Patients are asked to attend their appointment alone, or where they need assistance, to just bring one other person with them.

    Patients are asked not to come to the hospital for their appointment if they're showing any signs or symptoms of Covid-19 or if anyone in their home has symptoms.

     

     

  • 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.

     

     

     

  • Some staff members at Mayo University Hospital said they felt 'disillusioned, embarrassed and frustrated' over cross-over between covid and non-covid sections in the hospital last May, according to information released under a Freedom of Information request, to Mayo Aontu member, Paul Lawless.

    The latest documents released under the FOI to Mr Lawless, indicate that staff at the Hospital were reaching out to public representatives with their concerns regarding staff and patient crossover in the facility. 

    In one email in early May, a staff member said that Ward C, Ward D and the Ortho Ward were "all looking after positive, negative and query patients, there is crossover between staff and this is going on all week".

    The staff member also makes reference to "the shambolic way hospital management have dealt with the crisis from the start and the impact it has had on patients, staff and their families" and tells of how staff were, at the time of the email being sent, planning "a lunchtime protest next week". 

    Another email was forwarded to the CEO of Saolta, Tony Canavan on 1st May 2020 signed by "a very concerned nurse". This nurse spoke of how the structural changes to the hospital as part of the management of patients had resulted in a unit no longer fit for purpose. The nurse spoke of how "the reduced space makes Covid ED no longer a safe working environment. The nurse went on to note a "huge lack of handwashing facilities", adding that "we no longer have staff changing rooms and no access to showering facilities, no longer access to staff toilets and are to use the toilet facilities for the general public".

    Mr Lawless says in addition, a staff member in MUH has told him that there were delays in testing for the virus, and a reduced capacity issue with a thermal cycler PCR machine used in the testing process. He says this was cited by the staff member as central to the problems experienced in the hospital.

    He has been speaking to Midwest News today and says the documents released to him under the FOI request make for 'shocking reading'.

     

    Midwest News contacted Saolta for a response to these allegations in the FOI documents and we are awaiting a response.

  • 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...

  • According to documents released under the Freedom of Information Act and published in today’s Irish Independent, its claimed that a cancer patient suffering the side effects of chemotherapy was placed in a Covid-19 ward at Mayo University Hospital.

    In details of the complaint, lodged by a relative of the patient, it is claimed that the man, who is an oncology patient, arrived at the ED OF Mayo University Hospital on May 1st last,  and was admitted to a Covid-19 ward where there were five Covid-19 patients.

    He had according to the complaint "arrived at the hospital as a very vulnerable patient with a very serious underlying illness and a compromised immune system". He was not displaying any Covid-19 symptoms”.

    The complainant alleges that the man was moved into an isolation ward later that same evening. However, by that time he had already been according to the complaint been  "exposed to the coronavirus, unprotected, for an extended period of time".

    On May 4, when the complaint was made, the man was in self-isolation back at his own home. His daughter, who accompanied him to the hospital and entered the Covid-19 ward, was also self-isolating.

    It is claimed that both the cancer patient and his daughter were not given any protective equipment for hours. Later they were given what they term "basic masks".

    The complaint states that the man's "safety, health and life is now at serious risk" due to a failure by the hospital to implement "the most basic safety protocols".

    The complaint was sent to Mayo University Hospital (MUH) manager Catherine Donohoe as well as to the Department of Health, for the attention of chief medical officer Tony Holohan.

    Correspondence shows that on May 5, Declan Whelan, from the Cancer Policy Unit in the Department of Health, asked the hospital for an update on the complaint as a "matter of urgency".

    Concerns about segregation procedures at the hospital have been raised by local councillors and TDs in the Mayo area.

    Last month, then health minister Simon Harris requested a report from HSE chief executive Paul Reid on the Covid-19 measures taken at MUH from the outset of the pandemic. That report, if completed, has not yet been published.

    The details of the cancer patient complaint were outlined in a Freedom of Information request submitted by Aontú. Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín has  called for an update on the progress of the report commissioned by Mr Harris.

    The Saolta Hospitals Group, in reponse to questions about the details of the complaint said it cannot comment on individual cases

  • 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.

  • It's understood about 20 women from across the country sought terminations yesterday, since abortion services became legal on 1st January.

    The MyOptions helpline, set up by the HSE as a referral path for women seeking an abortion, came into service yesterday and was said to be "busy but not overwhelmed" on its first day.

    Because of the 3-day cooling off period, it will be next week before the first terminations are carried out.

    Just 187 of the State's 3,500 GPs have signed up to provide abortion services up to 9 weeks of pregnancy.

    The list of GPs has not been published, as many fear being targeted by anti-abortion activists, but women who ring the freephone number will be given details of their nearest provider.

    There are currently nine hospitals in the State willing to provide terminations - including Mayo and Galway University Hospitals - at 9 to 12 weeks of pregnancy.

     

  • Very few children have been impacted by Covid-19, according to a Consultant Paediatrician at Mayo University Hospital.

    Professor Michael O'Neill says the impact of the virus on children has been limited over the last number of months, and they've seen very few affected children at the Castlebar hospital.

    Professor O'Neill made his comments in a statement to Midwest News, announcing that the team at Mayo University Hospital have resumed the Paediatric Clinics, and have put a number of new measures in place to ensure the clinics can be run safely during the pandemic.

    A system is now in place that allows GPs to contact the Paediatric Unit for an hour in the mornings, to discuss their patients directly with the consultant and decide whether or not a child needs to be referred to hospital and to plan for any tests or x-rays a child might need.

    The Paediatric team have also developed a virtual clinic where they contact parents by video-conferencing the discuss their child's care, so parents and children do not have to attend the hospital if it's not considered clinically necessary.

    While face-to-face clinics have resumed, the number of children being seen is being managed, and as the paediatric outpatient area opens onto a parking area, children can remain in the car with their parents until it's their time to be seen.

     

  • There is no progress on the long promised extension to the Emergency Department at Mayo University Hospital, according to Mayo Sinn Fein deputy Rose Conway Walsh.

    The deputy says this situation was confirmed by the new Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly in response to a parliamentary question submitted by Fine Gael deputy Alan Dillon on developments at the hospital.

    A modular / prefab extension of the Emergency Dept at the Castlebar hospital was promised by government nine years ago, but to date no funding has been approved, despite persistent overcrowding at the ED.

    Deputy Conway Walsh has been giving more details to Midwest News today. She says the failure to deliver on the long promised extension to the ED, is further compounded by the present situation at Belmullet District hospital with just 5 patients at present, and no new admissions while maintenance works are underway indefinetely.

  • For the second day in a row, there are 760 patients on hospital trolleys across the country today - matching yesterday's record figure.

    According to the INMO, Limerick is the worst-hit hospital with 75 patients on trolleys, followed by Galway University Hospital where 51 patients are waiting for a bed today.

    Elsewhere across the region, there are 14 patients on trolleys at Mayo University Hospital, 20 in Sligo and 21 at Portiuncla Hospital in Ballinasloe.

    The Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation says this extreme overcrowding presents a clear danger to both patients and staff, and requires immediate political intervention to stabilise our hospitals.

    The union has written to the Health Minister Simon Harris, calling for a major incident to be declared at the worst-affected hospitals.

    The INMO is also calling for the immediate approval of all nursing posts across the acute hospitals, an end to the recruitment ban, the cancellation of elective procedures in the worst-affected hospitals and the sourcing of additional beds in the private and voluntary sector.

    In relation to Mayo University Hospital, local TD Lisa Chambers has described as "cruel and inhumane" the conditions patients and staff are dealing with in the Emergency Department.