Following on last years huge success, Glenbower family fun day in aid of Crumlin hospital and Youghal Cancer support group drew a large crowd from the surrounding areas, and further a field to celebrate May Sunday 2013 in Killeagh Co. Cork. Killeagh women and organizer Deirdre Fitzgerald for the second consecutive year, with the help of many people in the community held a day for families to gather and enjoy the beautiful scenery of Glenbower Woods. Children enjoyed face painting a bouncing castle, pony rides and a pet’s corner along with many other fun activities along the avenue in the woods. People out for the day got to enjoy live music by Pasty Irwin and band, and Dj David O keeffe. The Home produce stall did very well, with everybody enjoying home baking and refreshments made by many women in the community who worked closely with Deirdre. A lot of local business people helped make the occasion possible by donating prizes for the raffle along with their time and energy making the day a memorable one.
The funds raised all went to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin and the Local charity Youghal Cancer Support Group. Through public donations Crumlin Hospital now provides cutting edge laboratory facilities and investigations into the causes and treatments of many childhood illness and diseases- which has won international recognition. Public fundraisers such as the one held in Glenbower on May 5th help these facilities work at full pace.
The Local Charity that came out in pink on the Family fun day was THE YOUGHAL CANCER SUPPORT GROUP- who is dedicated to opening a Support center in Youghal to offer help and support to all those who are, or have suffered the trauma of cancer. They have been fundraising tirelessly for over two years now and have achieved amazing results that brings them closer to the valuable community facility that will offer therapeutic support to families and sufferers of cancer. The best of luck to them in the coming months!
- Siobhan Fogarty
Thur 2nd Feb 2012
Changes to the delivery of ambulance and nursing home services will have a devastating impact on the lives of thousands of families in the east Cork area, according to local Sinn Féin TD Sandra McLellan.
Speaking in the Dáil this week on the HSE’s National Service Plan, Deputy McLellan said:
“Some of the headline issues arising from this plan have been well highlighted. It is clear that the heart will be torn from our public nursing homes. We have already seen the ball start to roll in this regard. In Laois, in Athlone, in Dublin to name but a few. In my own area of east Cork facilities and beds are under threat in Fermoy and Youghal. Youghal Community Hospital is in danger of losing eight beds. The effect of this will be to leave vulnerable elderly people and their families at their wits end. Will there be a place available for my elderly loved one? If not, why not? Home help hours are being cut at the same time, as the state seems to be abandoning their duty of care.”
“Similarly the so-called “reorganisation” of pre-emergency care is causing considerable concern, and quite legitimately. Ambulance response times for 2011 were below target right across the board, yet the HSE somehow expect that by redeploying the same staff over longer periods in less sophisticated vehicles that this system will improve. This is simply unbelievable. Areas are up in arms. I commend the work of the Save Youghal Ambulance group which has been fighting for the retention of their ambulance service in the face of proposed downgrades. The plan as outlined will cost lives and needs to be resisted.
YOUGHAL HOSPITAL FACING BED CLOSURES – Writes Christy Parker
YOUGHAL COMMUNITY HOSPITAL faces bed closures in the coming months due to a reduction in its 2012 budget and an embargo on staff recruitment. Three staff members who are due to retire next month will not be replaced, either permanently or through agency recruitment. This will bring to six the number of non-replaced staff retirements in the past twelve months, inevitability leading to a loss of beds as the roster becomes unsustainable.
The cut backs fall under the terms of the National Service Plan published yesterday, which entails a €750m reduction in funding for services nationally
As yet the number of likely bed closures is uncertain and the hospital was unable to comment. However Cllr Barbara Murray, who represents Cork County Council on the Primary and Community Care Committee of HSE South, says “there is talk of eight beds being closed, but nothing is set in stone as yet.” As bad as prospects now, further retirements or staff losses may well arise in the coming years or even months, placing yet further pressure on the care centre to maintain bed spaces.
The hospital currently employs 58 full and part-time staff working on ‘whole-time equivalent’ rotas. They manage 38 beds, comprising 30 continuing care, four respite, two convalescent and two hospice units. “There is a constant demand for beds and a waiting list for admittance,” according to. “Any bed closures or reduction in service will have a serious impact on the local community, for whom the hospital provides a crucial service.”
It is understood that a meeting between the HSE and hospital representatives failed to alter the HSE stance, while further meetings are likely. Cllr Murray says she also hopes to meet with Mr. Ger Reiney, the HSE’s Local Area Manager to discuss the situation in the coming weeks. Cllr Murray adds that up to three times as many beds may close in Midleton.
A spokesman for HSE South says it expects “an increase in the numbers of staff retiring due to a change in pension entitlements after February 2012. We are reviewing the impact on each community hospital of such retirements or departures. The HSE will be unable to continue to replace these staff using agency staff and has prepared a number of contingency plans designed to maintain safe staffing levels and to minimise the impact on patient services.” The spokesman concludes, “Regional Service Plan will follow and we should be able to issue figures and procedures by the end of the January
Related Article: HSE spent €1.43m to hold TB man
SAVE YOUGHAL AMBULANCE PROTEST ILLUSTRATES REALITY
By Christy Parker
The Save Youghal Ambulance Group’s latest protest against the HSE ‘s proposed changes to the east Cork ambulance service included dramatic simulations of a fatal car accident and a resuscitation scene.
Those attending last Saturday’s demonstration adjacent to the Community Hospital, witnessed the surreal replication of a young man, his leg askew and near severed, ‘blood’ pouring from his head while his female passenger lay motionless and bloodied in the wreckage of their grey Vauxhall. Paramedics fought desperately to resuscitate a third occupant on the grass verge while a blue blanket covering all but a hand and protruding shoes of a fourth unfortunate indicated that any medical assistance would sadly come too late.
A placard towering over the wrecked car asked, “Will we die waiting?” in reference to the HSE’s planned reconfiguration of the ambulance service. Other placards haunting the grisly scene touted sentiments such as, “HSE makes Cuts –We Bleed” and “Employee of the Year –the Grim Reaper.”
Sinn Féin TD for East Cork Sandra McLellan, Youghal Mayor Eoin Coyne and Youghal Town Councillors Michelle Hennessy, Eoin Flanagan, Mary Linehan-Foley, Michael Beecher and Tara O’Connell, who is also Chairwoman of the Save Youghal Ambulance group, were amongst those who braved the icy midday wind.
The protest comes as the HSE’s prepares to begin implementing changes to the Cork & Kerry ambulance system in east and north Cork early in 2012. The plans include replacing overnight on-call paramedics and Youghal’s fixed base ambulance with a ‘roaming’ first responder paramedic car and a non-emergency vehicle, along with 33% reduction in ambulances in the Cork/Kerry region.
Critics fear emergency ambulances will have long distances to travel and are also unhappy with the Executive’s plans to man rural first responder vehicles with volunteers trained in defibrillator use, a cost-reducing measure that would also reach HIQA targets for responding to cardiac incidents.
Labour Minister of State for Research and Innovation, Seán Sherlock’s has called for the plans to be postponed, labelling them dangerous to the public as matters stand. Deputy Sherlock says there are many details yet to be adequately processed, “particularly in relation to rural communities,” adding that changes “should be phased in on a trial basis first.”
Meanwhile Deputy McLellan said Saturday’s protest “sends a strong, clear message of ‘hands off our ambulance’ to the government, Health Minister Dr. James O’Reilly and the HSE.” The TD added, “From the first meeting in the Walter Raleigh last summer, we all agreed that this would be a non-political campaign, that everyone would work together, GP’s committee members, politicians and the public and we have to keep that work going.”
Mayor Coyne described the simulations as “a sign of what could become a reality if the cuts are made to our ambulance service. The mayor said he was not particularly in favour of on-call as it stands but would want 24-hour on duty service ideally.
Cllr O’Connell described on -call as “a separate issue within the ambulance service, involving unions and funding and so on. We are simply citizens fighting to keep our ambulance.”
All three speakers are equally united in welcoming first responders “if fully trained to advanced paramedic standards,” as Deputy McLellan put it, “but only in addition to the present ambulance service and not instead of. A rapid respond vehicle manned by a paramedic is not the same as an ambulance manned by an advanced. Obviously we want to be sure that everybody gets the correct proper training to reach advanced paramedic levels,” she concluded.
Local protestor Bernard Leamy, perhaps illustrated the essence of the campaign most poignantly of all as he recalled a recent and first-hand experience. “My son Shane, who is 21, was taken very ill last Saturday and we had to call the Youghal ambulance at 2.45 am. It arrived within 15 minutes. Under the HSE changes it might take an hour to arrive but last week, thanks to the Youghal ambulance, he was in hospital within that hour.”
Meanwhile, last week the HSE agreed to meet a delegation consisting of Youghal doctor Declan Matthews, Dr Bertie Daly of Newmarket, North Cork and Cllr O’Connell to discuss their concerns. The meeting will be held in Naas on Tuesday Dec 20th. “The HSE is not au fait with the demands and conditions pertinent to rural areas and we will be stressing that this untested system could cost lives,” says the councillor.
Strength In Numbers Appeal For Save Youghal Ambulance Protest. – By Christy Parker
THE SAVE YOUGHAL AMBULANCE CAMPAIGN continues on Saturday next (17th December 2011) with a major demonstration against the proposed alteration to ambulance services in the east Cork region. The protest is scheduled for the Community Hospital, beginning at noon and organisers are appealing for a large turnout. .
In recent weeks The HSE has reaffirmed its intention to introduce immense changes to the ambulance system across Cork and Kerry, beginning with east and north Cork early in 2012. The plans are centred on replacing on-call paramedics overnight and a fixed-base daytime ambulance service with a first responder paramedic car, backed up in some rural areas, such as east Cork, by ‘roaming’ ambulance response crews. These crews may well have to travel lengthy distances when summoned.
The roaming vehicles will comprise six ambulances removed from the 18-strong fleet that presently serves Cork and Kerry. The HSE claims that deploying these vehicles will cost less than 50% of the €200,000 it apparently costs to operate a ‘normal’ ambulance.
It has now also emerged that the first response vehicles –which will not be allowed to transport patients- will be largely crewed by “hundreds of volunteers” trained in CPR and related care practices. The Executive believes this manoeuvre will enable the new system to meet Health Information Quality Authority (HIQA) requirements for responding to call-outs.
Throughout, the HSE insists that the quality of service will not decline and, on the contrary, will improve at a reduced cost. Even without the HSE’s legacy of mistakes and failings, very many people remain sceptical of this view. Youghal GP’s have said it looks promising on paper but they remain unconvinced of its viability in practice as it currently stands.
Labour Minister of State for Research and Innovation, Seán Sherlock, has called for the plans to be postponed, labelling them dangerous to the public as matters stand. Deputy Sherlock, who is also chairman of Mallow Hospital Action Committee, echoes the view that there are many details yet to be adequately processed, “particularly in relation to rural communities.” He adds, “It should be phased in on a trial basis first.”
Next Saturday’s protest marks the fourth public show of rejection against the proposals, following a public meeting and two street protest marches last August. Save Youghal Ambulance spokeswoman and Youghal Labour Town Councillor Tara O’Connell strongly urges the people of east Cork and indeed west Waterford also, to unite in strength on Saturday.
The demonstration will include enactment of accident scenes and CPR demonstrations by way of exemplifying the crucial role of ambulance response times and procedure and the heavy demand on energy and stamina that a volunteer can encounter when administering CPR while an ambulance is en route. She encourages those attending Saturday’s event to bring banners and placards. A loud voice would also contribute towards conveying the message of rejection.
Save Youghal Ambulance Protest Demonstration is scheduled from noon to 2 pm at Youghal Community Hospital, Cork Hill.
THE Minister of State for research and Innovation, Seán Sherlock, has said the HSE’s imminent ambulance changes for Cork and Kerry must be postponed.
Speaking to the Irish Examiner, after senior health service officials revealed controversial plans to drastically alter how care is delivered by next month, the Labour TD said the move was dangerous to the public.
Read more: Click Here
A major protest is planned for Saturday next at Youghal Community Hospital. The protest is against the HSE’s proposed “reconfiguration” of the East Cork Ambulance Service. Beginning at midday on Saturday at the Community Hospital, continuing until 2 pm, the protest will feature demonstrations of real life accident scenes and it will show how CPR can be administered, showing how long a patient might last . Members of the public will have an opportunity to voice their concerns about the proposed changes at this protest. Banners and placards are encouraged at the demonstration at Youghal Community Hospital this Saturday from midday.
THE HEALTH Service Executive yesterday moved to reassure people that proposed changes in ambulance arrangements in Cork and Kerry will lead to a better service for the public. This came amid fears reorganisation will lead to a downgrading in some areas.Robert Morton, director of the HSE National Ambulance Service, said the move from the system of on-duty and on-call to a system where staff will be rostered solely on an on-duty basis will result in an improved service.
Sinn Féin TD for Cork East, Sandra McLellan, has claimed the ambulance service in the HSE South area is at breaking point and that the planned reconfiguration of the service will drive it over the edge.
Speaking in response to leaked HSE memos Deputy McLellan said:
“Internal HSE memos revealed by the Corkman this week confirm that there were several instances when areas in Cork were left without adequate ambulance cover due to new work directives. The HSEs answer to this appears to be to ask ambulance crew to routinely cover on-call after already working a 16 hour day. This is completely outrageous and in direct contradiction to earlier instruction issued in May.”
“It beggars belief that the HSE would expect ambulance staff to be in any fit state to deliver appropriate care after such a long day. The role paramedics play in the pre-emergency care of patients is vital. I have said from the outset that the HSEs plan to reconfigure ambulance services is seriously flawed. I have called on the Government and the HSE to invest in the ambulance fleet and in ambulance personnel. The recruitment embargo continues to have a devastating effect on the service.”
“This series of internal communications highlights the fact that the service is at breaking point, with insufficient staff and an inappropriate skills mix to deliver the service in the new dispensation. That the HSE would even contemplate reconfiguring the service without addressing these deficiencies is life threatening.”
Related Video: Save Youghal Ambulance – Protest Walk 29 July 2011
THE FIGHT to save Youghal ambulance seems to have entered calmer waters following an on-going series of meetings between the HSE, regional GPs, TD’s councillors and the Save Youghal Ambulance group.
To recap, the HSE’s work reform proposes the abolition of on-call practice and Youghal ambulance replaced with an advanced paramedic first responder service, with two ‘roaming’ emergency-only ambulances patrolling the east Cork area and an intermediary care vehicle for Cork north and east based initially in Mallow. The first responder would not have a hospital transport mandate. Thousands of people protested the proposals in Youghal last summer.
The protests sparked consultations between vested parties, resulting in a broader understanding on both sides.
It is now known that up to 90% of calls to Youghal ambulance are deemed ‘non-emergency.’ The HSE proposes to reserve ambulance deployment exclusively for emergencies and intend to deploy ‘intermediate care vehicles’ to conduct non-emergency functions.
Fine Gael Cork County and Youghal Town Councillor Barbara Murray, who sits on the Regional Health Forum, says, “The first responders would have advanced medical provisions and staff and effectively bring A&E to the patient, while the intermediate care vehicles would conduct non-emergency duties, such as pre-arranged patient transfers, etc.”
The system would revolve around GPS navigation technology, “with a Dublin-based control centre able to pinpoint at any time the exact location each medical unit in the area at any given time,” explains Cllr Murray. “The control centre would receive the initial call and decide on the most appropriate response from the information given. The first responder would also assess the situation on arrival.”
Under Phase 1, the HSE hopes to deploy the intermediate care vehicles to Mallow and Bantry in early 2012. Mallow will service east Cork until Phase 2 eventually sees a similar vehicle deployed in Cork city to serve the region. Meanwhile Youghal is expected to retain its ambulance base and current practice for at least 18 months as trade union issues are resolved.
There is concern in Youghal over this transition period. Local GP Declan Matthews says, “The proposals look very good on paper, but there are huge anxieties amongst doctors over a perceived lag time of some years between Phase 1 and Phases 2 and then 3. It means we would still have no proper cover when our ambulance is out of town.” He adds that the issue is soon to be discussed between doctors in east and north Cork and Mallow.
Echoing those concerns, spokesman for the Save Youghal Ambulance group Jim Flanagan says, “It may -or may not- be ok in the long term but we will continue to fight for our ambulance service here in the short term at least.”
Statement from Save Youghal Ambulance group:
‘To date we the above, with the support of local communities, TD’s, county and town councillors and GP’s have been opposed to the proposal from the HSE to remove the ambulance service from Youghal and surrounding areas.
The position to date is that though it may appear that we have been silent. Indeed, the opposite is true.
Since our first public meeting and subsequent protests, there have been a number of meetings between the HSE and all of the above mentioned.
The updated position is that further meetings are to take place and while the general feeling with the GPs is that the proposals put forward by the HSE look very good in the long term, Youghal and the surrounding areas could not be without an ambulance in the short term.
We will continue to fight for our ambulance service with the help of all the above and we would like to take this opportunity to thank all our TDs, county councillors, town councillors, GPs and indeed the general public for all of your support so far to retain our ambulance service.
Signed: Jim Flanagan, PRO.