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After 21 weeks in hospital, patient has nowhere to go

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University Hospital Galway

A Galway man has spent 21 weeks more than necessary in an acute psychiatric bed at a city hospital because there was no home for him to go to upon his release.

The 37-years-old, who is bipolar, had been living with the Brothers of Charity in Tuam, when he had a manic episode and was admitted to University Hospital Galway in early March.

After three weeks, his medication was stabilised and he was well enough to live back in the community.

However, he couldn’t return to the BOC home and, because of a shortage of alternative housing, was forced to go on Galway City Council’s housing waiting list, according to Galway East TD Anne Rabbitte.

Some 24 weeks later, he remains in an acute bed – effectively a bed-blocker – despite being stabilised. It could take another four weeks at least before he takes up an offer of a house with voluntary housing agency, Clúid.

In the meantime, the HSE maintains there is a shortage of acute psychiatric beds.

“They held a high level meeting this week about the shortage of acute beds, and then you have a situation like this – are they pulling the p***,” asked the Fianna Fáil deputy.

Deputy Rabbitte said the man is living his life as normal from the hospital he doesn’t need to be in – he travels by bus to collect his disability allowance in Tuam; he volunteers two days a week; and keeps his Brothers of Charity appointments. “He has to be back in the acute bed at 8pm daily,” she said.

Deputy Rabbitte added: “There is a shortage of mental health beds, yet the HSE is using an acute bed for a long stay patient, who has a housing need. That doesn’t make sense. I get people into my clinic every week, who need mental health services but they can’t get the treatment they require for their family members.

“Yet, here we have a situation where a man, who has stabilised, and who doesn’t need an acute bed, has been in an acute bed for 24 weeks. The family of this man feel let down. He doesn’t need to be in an acute bed, he needs a house. He is agitated and frustrated. The family are frustrated.”

Connacht Tribune

Boil water notice issued for Barna area

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A boil water notice has been issued for the Barna area for health protection purposes

The areas affected are Barna Village, Truskey West and Truskey East, Barr Aille, Fermoyle, Ballard and along the Connemara Coast Road as far as Furbo, and on the Barna/Galway Road as far as Silverstrand.

The notice has been put in place due to issues with disinfection of the water at Tonabruckey Reservoir.

The notice affects approximately 2,300 people supplied by the Barna section of the Galway City West Public Water Supply area.

Customers in the area served by Tonabrucky Reservoir will notice increased levels of chlorine in their water supply in the coming days as we work to resolve the issue.

Vulnerable customers who have registered with Irish Water will receive direct communication on this Boil Water Notice.

Irish water, the City Council and the HSE will monitor the supply and will lift the notice when it is safe to do so.

In line with HSE Covid-19 advice and the requirement for frequent hand washing, Irish Water advises that the water remains suitable for this purpose and boiling the water is not required.

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Connacht Tribune

Violent incident in Tuam leaves seven hospitalised

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Gardaí are investigating after an incident in Tuam yesterday left seven people injured.

A violent altercation broke out between a large group at the cemetery in Tuam at about 4pm yesterday.

Around 30 Gardaí responded to the incident at the cemetery on the Athenry Road in Tuam, which broke out following two funerals in the area.

Gardaí supported by members from the wider North Western Region and the Regional Armed Support Unit had to physically intervene between parties and disperse those present.

Five males and two females were injured during the course of the incident and were taken to University Hospital Galway with non-life threatening injuries.

A 16-year-old boy was arrested at the scene, as he tried to flee in possession of a knife.

He was taken to Tuam Garda Station and has since been released. A file is being prepared for the Juvenile Liaison Officer.

Gardaí are appealing for any witnesses to this incident or for anyone with any information to contact Tuam Garda Station .

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Connacht Tribune

Anger over ANC ‘snip’

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Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue

ANGRY farmers hit out during last week’s Galway IFA at the Dept. of Agriculture over what they described as their ‘heavy handed tactics’ in docking BEAM penalties from ANC payments made last week.

Although Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue, has apologised for the actions taken by his Department officials, delegates who attended last Thursday’s night county IFA meeting in the Claregalway Hotel, hit out at what happened.

In some cases, according to Galway IFA Chairperson, Anne Mitchell, farmers who had already paid back the BEAM penalty also had the money deducted from their ANC (Areas of Natural Constraint) payments made last week.

Many farmers received ‘a shock in the post’ when their ANC payments were hit with the deductions of penalties from the BEAM scheme – earlier they had been warned of interest penalties if any balances weren’t repaid within 30 days.

At the core of the problem was the inclusion of a 5% stock numbers reduction in the BEAM scheme (Beef Exceptional Aid Measure) aimed at helping to compensate farmers for a drop-off in beef prices between September, 2018 and May, 2019.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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