Mayo University Hospital

  • A Mayo surgeon was honoured at the 20th NUI Galway Annual Alumni Awards over the weekend.

    Dr Ronan Waldron, consultant surgeon at Mayo University Hospital received the alumni award for Medicine, Nursing & Health Sciences at the awards ceremony, which was held in NUI Galway on Saturday last.


  • The HSE and Department of Health are dragging their heels in relation to the proposed extension of the Emergency Department at Mayo University Hospital – that’s according to Mayo Fianna Fail TD Dara Calleary, who questioned the Health Minister on the issue yesterday.

    Last year, Minister Simon Harris announced that temporary modular units would be installed to relieve overcrowding at a number of hospitals, including Mayo University Hospital, but over a year later, the extra accommodation has not yet been put in place.

    In the meantime, Deputy Calleary says staff and patients are putting up with intolerable conditions at the Emergency Department in Castlebar, and he called for an urgent response from the Minister and from the HSE.

    Minister Harris said yesterday that the HSE Estates team had visited the hospital in Castlebar last week, and there will be further progress from there.

    Deputy Calleary says he will continue to pursue this matter with the Minister until work gets underway on installing the modular units, ahead of next Winter.

  • Mayo TD Lisa Chambers has expressed concern over low staffing levels in the Mayo University Hospital’s Maternity Ward.


    There are currently 10 fulltime staff vacancies at the maternity Ward and a 2014 government review found that the hospital was 5 staff below recommended levels.


    The Fianna Fáil TD has called on the Minster for Health and the HSE to address the staffing levels and wants five additional staff added to the ten that have already been approved.

  • Mayo University Hospital in Castlebar, University Hospital Sligo and Galway University Hospital are  among the 13 hospitals nationally  where women were not informed of a delay in their cervical cancer diagnosis

    The HSE confirmed yesterday that 162 women – including 17 who have died ,are caught up in the latest cancer screening controversy.

    A review conducted by the HSE confirmed 208 women should have received earlier intervention than they did but only 46 individuals were made aware of this.

    The examination, conducted by national director of quality assurance at the HSE Patrick Lynch, confirmed 17 of these women have died. The cause of their deaths is not known.

    Mr Lynch said he could not state if these women were informed of the delayed diagnosis before they died but insisted their next of kin would be contacted by today at the very latest.

    All of the other women affected would also be informed by today and given an appointment with a clinician free of charge.

    HSE director-general Tony O’Brien apologised to all of the women involved and to their families for the “completely unacceptable” practices.

    This morning the government is expected to ask the health watchdog HIQA today to investigate the scandal and the way it was handled by the HSE.

    Health Minister Simon Harris will also bring forward proposals to Cabinet today to make it mandatory for doctors to have to tell patients about things that may affect them.

  • Mayo University Hospital has apologised in the High Court for the standard of care provided to a woman who allegedly suffered a delay in the diagnosis of her lung cancer.

    Mother of five and grandmother Marie McDonnell from Castlebar died in January of this year.

    The Irish Independent reports that, in a letter read to the court, the hospital unreservedly apologised to her husband for the standard of care delivered  to her when she had an x-ray at the hospital in July 2017.

    General manager of the hospital Catherine Donohue said “This was not the standard of care that our hospital believed was appropriate,’.

    Before she died, Mrs McDonnell, along with her husband Anthony, of Riverdale Court, Knockthomas, Castlebar had sued the HSE over the care she received at Mayo University Hospital in 2017.

    Yesterday, Mr McDonnell settled the action against the HSE on confidential terms.

    The court heard that Mrs McDonnell had a chest x-ray on July 17,2017 with a repeat x-ray in six to eight weeks recommended.

    It was claimed there was an a failure to identify appearances on the x-ray which, it is claimed, were highly suspicious of bronchial carcinoma.

    It was further claimed there was a failure to identify a mass lesion present and a failure to refer Mrs McDonnell for a CT scan.

    Mrs McDonnell, it was further alleged, was not brought back for a repeat x-ray as recommended.

    When she had a chest x-ray 15 months later,in October 2018, a lesion was detected which had the appearance of an evolving bronchogenic carcinoma.

    It was claimed that Mrs McDonnell suffered a lost opportunity to be considered for feasibility of surgery.

    She also allegedly lost the opportunity to  have the suspicious lung mass evaluated in July 2017 and allegedly suffered a delay in diagnosis.

    The claims were denied.

    Mr Justice Kevin Cross approved the settlement.


  • Mayo University Hospital is the third most overcrowded in the country today with 37 patients on trolleys.

    Nationally, there are 492 patients being treated on trolleys at hospitals across the country.

    University Hospital Limerick is the worst affected with 56 people without beds, according to the INMO.

    Elsewhere, in this region there are 27 patients on trolleys at University Hospital Galway, 13 at Sligo University Hospital and six at Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe.

  • Management at Mayo University Hospital have apologised to patients and their families who are experiencing long waiting times in the Emergency Department, which is described as "extremely busy" today.

    The hospital has admitted a lot of seriously ill patients over the last 3 days, and some patients from yesterday remain in the Emergency Dept, awaiting an inpatient bed.

    Hospital management says everyone who presents at the ED will be treated, but strictly in order of medical priority, and are reminding the public only to attend the ED in the case of real emergencies.

    For minor injuries, the Injury Unit at Roscommon Hospital is open from 8am to 8pm every day with a turnaround time of seeing and treating patients of less than one hour.

    Management at Mayo University Hospital have also thanked their staff who are working extremely hard at this time, dealing with the high volumes of patients.



  • The CEO of the Saolta University Healthcare Group says the focus remains that there is a clear pathway of care for people coming in to hospital.

    Tony Canavan says a lot of work has continued in the last week in response to the Coronavirus.

    There is currently 14 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Mayo and Mr. Canavan says at the moment there are no patients in ICU at the Castlebar based hospital.

    Mr. Canavan says Mayo University hospital is also looking at maximising their ICU capacity and also ensure there is good linkage between the hospitals in the West.

  • The modular unit, which was promised two years ago to relieve overcrowding at Mayo University Hospital's Emergency Department, will still not be in place this Winter.

    The Health Minister announced the measure in 2016 to help tackle overcrowding, but it has now emerged that planning permission has not yet been sought for a modular unit at the Castlebar hospital.

    Fianna Fail Councillor Michael Loftus says it's a disgrace that, as we head into another Winter, the facility is not yet available.

    Councillor Loftus attempted to raise the matter at this week's meeting of the HSE Regional Forum, but told Midwest News he was unsuccessful in doing so.

    He says it's unfair on the people of Mayo that the promised modular unit has not yet been put in place.

  • More than 1300 children are on hospital waiting lists to see a specialist at Mayo University hospital at present.

    Mayo Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh says the Department of Health figures released to Sinn Féin this week, showing that there are 1323 children on hospital waiting lists to see a specialist at the Mayo hospital.

    The figures released to the party have shown that there are actually 86,625 children waiting to see a specialist in hospitals across the state - almost double the supposed official figure of 46,000 children waiting to see a consultant.

    Senator Conway Walsh says in Mayo close to 500 children are waiting more than 12 months to see a specialist.

    She told Midwest News today that the numbers waiting are completely unacceptable and has called for the appropriate staff to be hired to deal with the backlogs.



    She told Midwest News Editor Teresa O’Malley that the numbers waiting are completely unacceptable and has called for the appropriate staff to be hired to deal with the backlogs.

  • You would get an appointment with the Pope faster than some patients are waiting to see a consultant at Mayo University Hospital. That the view of the Cathaoirleach of Castlebar Municipal District, Michael Kilcoyne.

    More than 3,000 patients are waiting more than a year to see a consultant at Mayo University Hospital at present.

    Cathaoirleach Kilcoyne is a member of the HSE West forum and he submitted a question to the forum this month on the waiting times for patients to see a consultant at MUH.

    He was informed by HSE management in response that more than 3,000 patients are waiting more than a year to see a consultant at Mayo University Hospital . While more than 750 patients are waiting more than three years for an appointment.

    The Independent councillor told Midwest News that he is continuously being contacted by patients or the relatives of patients frustrated at the length of time they are waiting in pain and discomfort to see a consultant.



  • The Manager of Mayo University Hospital Catherine Donohoe has again today stated that there is no crossover between patients with confirmed or suspected cases of Covid 19 and non Covid patients at the hospital. She says there are two pathways of care in place.

    “One pathway is to cater for patients with COVID-19 and suspected COVID-19 patients. The second pathway is for non COVID-19 patients. A clinical decision, which is made by the treating doctor, determines which pathway is appropriate for patients. The appropriate infection prevention and control measures are in place for each pathway according to national HPSC guidance for healthcare settings”.

    Midwest News had sought a response from the Saolta group to the allegation uncovered under a Freedom of Information request by the leader of Aontu, Peadar Toibin. The documents show a complaint lodged that a cancer patient suffering the side effects of chemotherapy was placed in a Covid-19 ward at Mayo University Hospital on May 1st.

    In her written response to Midwest News today, Ms Donoghue explains “ we cannot comment on individual cases. Maintaining confidentiality is not only an ethical requirement for the HSE and all HSE funded hospitals; it is also a legal requirement as defined in GDPR”.

    She continues, “I encourage any patient or their family members who have concerns or questions in relation to their care to contact the hospital directly. We have complaints and feedback processes in place and we welcome and encourage feedback, suggestions or opportunities to bring the perspectives and lived experiences of patients and families into the planning and delivery of care.

    All complaints received are dealt with promptly and I respond directly to the patients or families and welcome any further correspondence. All complaints received during the month of May have been addressed and responded to.

     I would like to reassure patients of Mayo University Hospital and their families that we have an excellent Infection Prevention and Control Team at the hospital who work daily with nursing, medical, surgical, pharmacy and laboratory staff to ensure optimum care for all patients in the hospital. The team provides ongoing training to staff and visit the wards every day to make sure correct infection prevention and control procedures are in place”.

    The statement concludes “staff do not treat patients with COVID-19 as well as non COVID-19 patients. Patients are moved from the COVID-19 pathway when clinically deemed appropriate to do so”.


  • Nearly half a million people missed hospital outpatient appointments last year, that's around 1,300 people a day.

    The HSE figures released to the Irish Times shows that almost 20 percent were related to STIs and 18 percent were psychiatry appointments.

    Nearly one fifth of patients failed to show up at Mayo University hospital last year, while St James's in Dublin had 17% no shows.

    It comes as the HSE struggles to cut waiting lists in hospitals around the country.

  • The need to establish a Pain Clinic service at Mayo University Hospital was highlighted in the Seanad this week.

    Currently, thousands of people across Co Mayo who suffer from chronic pain have to travel to hospitals in Galway or Sligo, and Mayo Fianna Fail Senator Keith Swanick is campaigning for a Pain Clinic at the Mayo University Hospital in Castlebar.

    Senator Swanick, who's a GP in Erris, raised the matter this week with the Junior Health Minister Jim Daly, and says he has agreed to liaise with the HSE West in relation to the matter.

  • Despite additional funding being allocated for the National Winter Health Plan, no additional beds will open this Winter at either Mayo or Galway University Hospital.

    That's according to the Chief Operations Officer with the Saolta Hospital Group.

    Additional funding of €647,000 was confirmed last week for the Saolta Group and Community Healthcare West jointly, to support improved patient care in hospitals and community services in the West.

    However, Ann Cosgrove, Chief Operations Officer for the Saolta group, has confirmed to Midwest News that this will not result in the opening of any additional acute beds in this region.

    She says the majority of the funding will go towards community services,  focused on helping patients avoid hospital where possible.



    No funding has been allocated for the modular unit, which was promised a year ago to extend the Emergency Department at Mayo University Hospital.

    That’s according to Crossmolina-based Fianna Fail Councillor Michael Loftus, who raised the matter at yesterday’s meeting of the HSE West Forum.

    Councillor Loftus says it’s not good enough for the people of Mayo that this modular extension was announced last Winter, but has not been provided.

    He claims it’s having a knock-on effect on district hospitals across the county, and says the modular build would only cost around €500,000.

  • There are no plans by the HSE to construct a multi-story car park at Mayo University Hospital in Castlebar, despite the ongoing problem for patients and visitors accessing the hospital.

    That was confirmed by HSE management to Castlebar Independent councillor Michael Kilcoyne in response to a question submitted to a recent meeting of the HSE West forum.

    Despite almost 330,000 euro in net income from the carparking charges at the hospital last year (2017), and the constant raising by local councillors of the difficulties in elderly or disabled people accessing the facility from the car parking facilities available, the HSE has no plans to provide alternative parking.

  • Nurses at Mayo University Hospital claim the crossover of staff between Covid-19 patients and non-Covid patients has continued up to this week, despite a claim by the Saolta Hospital group that this practice had ceased a month ago.

    Following concerns highlighted last month by Castlebar Councillor Michael Kilcoyne about staff working with both positive and negative patients, Tony Canavan, CEO of the Saolta group, told Midwest News that this practice had been discontinued after 21st April.

    However, nurses this week say that, while they're wearing PPE gear at all times, they're still treating both Covid and non-Covid patients during their shifts.

    Councillor Kilcoyne, who's Cathaoirleach of the Castlebar Municipal District, is now calling on the Minister for Health to investigate what's going on at the Castlebar hospital, with the aim of preventing the further spread of the virus.

  • HSE management have acknowledged that an ongoing dispute involving maintenance staff at Mayo University Hospital has resulted in some delays in getting maintenance work done at the hospital.

    Maintenance staff have been engaged in unofficial industrial action for several months, to highlight concerns over changes to their contract of employment.

    The protests have been taking place at lunchtime outside the hospital.

    Independent Castlebar Councillor Michael Kilcoyne raised the issue at a recent meeting of the HSE Regional Forum, and asked what impact the dispute is having.

    HSE management said the industrial action has resulted in some delays in getting general maintenance work done at the hospital, and said they're currently working with the maintenance department to resolve any issues.

    Councillor Kilcoyne told Midwest News that he believes the situation has been allowed to go on for too long.

  • Visiting restrictions remain in place at hospitals across the Saolta Group - including Mayo and Sligo University Hospitals, University Hospital Galway and Merlin Park, Portiuncla Hospital in Ballinasloe and Roscommon University Hospital.

    The visiting restrictions were introduced last Friday and will continue this week, as an infection control measure.

    Members of the public are asked not to visit hospitals across the Saoltas group, other than end-of-life situations, and other exceptional circumstances, as agreed with the ward manager in advance of visiting.

    However, outpatient, X-Ray and other scheduled appointments and procedures are going ahead as usual at Mayo University Hospital.

    A hospital spokesperson said that, while restrictions are in place for visitors, the services at Mayo University Hospital are not impacted, and all clinics and procedures are running as normal.