Mayo University Hospital

  • 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

  • 419 people with Covid-19 are receiving treatment in Irish hospitals today-  that's down 22% on last Monday - with 103 of these patients in ICU.

    There's been an increase in the past 24 hours in the number of patient with the virus being treated at Mayo University Hospital - that's up from 30 to 34 last night.

    The Castlebar hospital has the fourth highest number of Covid patients in the country, after 3 Dublin hospitals.

    Elsewhere in the region, there are 8 Covid patients being treated at Galway University Hospital, 7 at Sligo University Hospital and 2 at Portiuncla Hospital in Ballinasloe.

    The 14-day rate of the virus nationally is now 172 cases per 100,000 people.

    All of the Connacht counties now have rates lower than the national average.


  • The number of people in hospital with Covid 19 is continuing to decline.

    861 people with the virus are in hospital today, with 151 of these patients in intensive care.

    However, there's an increase in the number of Covid patients being treated at Mayo University Hospital.

    Latest figures show 42 patients at the Castlebar hospital are being treated for the virus - that's up from 38 yesterday, with 31 at University Hospital Galway, 14 at Sligo University Hospital and 4 at Portiuncla in Ballinasloe.



  • The HSE CEO Paul Reid has confirmed that the number of Covid patients being treated in hospitals across the country has increased to 1,700, with 158 of these patients in ICU - a new record.

    13 hospitals have no intensive care beds free, as the third wave of the pandemic continues to put increasing pressure on the acute health system.

    However, the HSE says it has the ability to create more ICU beds through surge capacity and via the private hospitals.

    In this region, there are 116 patients with confirmed Covid-19 being treated at University Hospital Galway, 91 at Mayo University Hospital, 32 at Sligo hospital and 9 in Portiuncla Hospital, Ballinasloe.

    At Mayo University Hospital, the latest figure of 91 Covid patients being treated is up from 50 this time last week.

    None of these patients are being treated in the Intensive Care unit.

    Latest HSE data shows Mayo University Hospital currently has 3 critical beds and one general bed available - while the INMO is reporting 8 patients on trolleys today at the Castlebar 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.

  • 274 people with Covid-19 are in hospitals across the country this morning - the lowest total since December 26th.It's down from 294 yesterday.

    This includes just one Covid patient at Mayo University Hospital - the lowest of any hospital in the region.

    There are currently 9 patients with the virus at Sligo University Hospital, 8 at UHG and 4 at Portiuncla Hospital in Ballinasloe.

  • 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.

  • The roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign began in Mayo University Hospital today.

    Mary Neary Clinical Nurse Manager 2 on C Ward was the first staff member in the hospital to receive the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine.

    Mary received the vaccine from her nursing colleague Pádraig Ó Lúanaigh. 

    The vaccine was the first to be administered in County Mayo and over the coming weeks the vaccination programme will be extended across the hospital and community services. 

    Between today and the end of this week, over 500 staff will be vaccinated at Mayo University Hospital.

    Mary has worked in MUH for over 14 years and am currently the Clinical Nurse Manager 2 working in C Ward which has been designated a COVID-19 ward since the onset of the pandemic.

    She has seen the devastating effect of this infection on the patients and their families and 2020 was a really difficult year for everyone working in the health services.

    Mary has been telling Midwest News today that she is delighted to get this vaccine which will offer protection from COVID-19 and from the serious complications it can cause.


  • 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.

  • The number of daily Covid 19 cases is likely to hit 7,000 in the coming days.

    The head of the HSE Paul Reid says non urgent healthcare in hospitals is going to be cancelled as a result.

    744 people are in hospital with the virus at present and it's rising at a rate of almost 20 per cent per day.

    There are currently 51 patients with confirmed Covid-19 being treated at Mayo University Hospital.

    This is the third highest figure among Irish hospitals - after the Beaumont Hospital in Dublin and Cork University Hospital.

    None of the 51 patients at the Castlebar hospital are in Intensive Care, and the hospital has the capacity for more patients with Covid-19 if needed, according to general manager Catherine Donohue.

    She's pleading with the general public to cut all social contacts and stay at home as much as possible to reduce the rapid spread of the virus.

    The number of patients at Mayo University Hospital with Covid-19 has increased from 10 a week ago to 51, and the manager told Midwest News that the surge in cases is having a knock-on effect on elective surgery, as more wards are needed for Covid patients....

  • 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.