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Consultant drove patients for surgery after theatres were full

Enda Cunningham

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A consultant from University Hospital Galway had to go the extra mile to perform emergency surgery – by driving four of his patients to Galway Clinic to carry out the operations there.

Theatre lists were so busy at UHG that Saturday morning that urologist Frank D’Arcy was forced to contact Galway Clinic to carry out the prostate procedures.

He ended up driving the four men to the Clinic to carry out the surgery, where he was facilitated by consultant anaesthetist Kevin Clarkson.

Following the procedures, the patients were brought by private ambulance to UHG for after-care.

It’s understood that two theatres were in operation at UHG that morning – three weeks ago – and surgery lists were excessive.

Following queries from the Connacht Tribune in relation to the incident, the Saolta University Healthcare Group issued a one-line statement: “On a recent occasion when the emergency theatre lists were extremely busy at University Hospital Galway, the hospital availed of theatre facilities at Galway Clinic.”

Galway West TD Catherine Connolly said it was “extraordinary” that the two consultants chose to take direct action.

“They are to be praised for what they did.

“There is a history to theatres [at UHG] closing and not enough staff. Quite clearly there isn’t enough funding. There are two issues here – how much funding is needed for the hospital, and also long-term planning for a new hospital is needed. There is no escape from it.

“This has all built up from 2007/08 – it’s the systematic running down of the public health system.

“We need a plan of action – I would stop listening to management at this stage, and talk to the nursing staff, cleaners, porters instead,” said the Independent Deputy.

Fianna Fáil county councillor Mary Hoade – a member of the HSE’s West Regional Health Forum – said: “The case list for emergency surgery on that morning was longer than the two theatres could accommodate.

“They [Mr D’Arcy’s patients] needed to go to theatre that day, and a clinical decision was made by the consultant. If patients aren’t able to go to theatre in UHG, it puts consultants and patients in a very difficult position.

“It’s not the first time a public patient has been operated on in a private hospital.

“We need to ensure we have theatre space open to allow them to operate. We need to have more funding because of our catchment area, and we are a Centre of Excellence; we need more funding for staffing and to have theatres open,” said Cllr Hoade.

CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City publican in heroic River Corrib rescue

Francis Farragher

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A city publican who last week helped save the life of a woman who had entered the waters of the Corrib off Wolfe Tone Bridge has made an appeal for young people to ‘look out for each other’.

Fergus McGinn, proprietor of McGinn’s Hop House in Woodquay, had been walking close to Jury’s Inn when he saw the young woman enter the river.

He then rushed to the riverbank on the Long Walk side of the bridge, jumped into the water, spoke to the woman and stayed with her until the emergency services arrived.

The incident occurred at about 3.45pm on Friday last, and a short time later the emergency services were on the scene to safely rescue the woman.

“She was lucky in that the river level was very low and she didn’t injure herself on the rocks and stones just under the water.”

He also appealed to the public to support in whatever they could the work being done by groups like the Claddagh Watch volunteers.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Pubs face court – for serving booze on their doorsteps!

Dara Bradley

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Gardaí have warned city publicans that alcohol cannot be served outside their own premises – even in newly-created on-street spaces designated by Galway City Council as suitable for outdoor dining.

Councillor Mike Crowe (FF) said three Gardaí visited a number of city centre pubs on Thursday afternoon informing them that drinking outdoors was not allowed under licensing laws.

“They warned publicans and restaurants that the area outside their premises is not covered by the licence, and therefore under national legislation, they are breaking the law, because they are not entitled to sell alcohol in non-licensed areas.

“The operators were told that this was an official warning, and they will be back again in a few days and if it persisted, they [Gardaí] would have no option but to issue a charge and forward files to the Director of Public Prosecution. You could not make this up.

“All of the big operators were visited, and received an official warning, and they will be charged if they persist. According to the guards, they’re getting instructions from [Garda headquarters in] Phoenix Park,” he said.

The matter will be raised at a meeting of the Galway City Joint Policing Committee on Monday.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Call for 50% affordable homes in new Galway City Council estates

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The next Galway City Development Plan should include a greater provision for affordable housing than that recommended by Government, a meeting of the City Council has heard.

Cllr Declan McDonnell (Ind) told the meeting that while it was the Government’s intention to introduce a stipulation that new estates should have 10% affordable housing, Galway should go further – building anything up to 50% affordable in developments that are led by the local authority.

The Affordable Housing Bill, which is currently working its way through the Oireachtas, proposes that all developments should have 10% affordable and 10% social housing as a condition of their approval.

Affordable housing schemes help lower-income households buy their own houses or apartments in new developments at significantly less than their open market value, while social housing is provided by local authorities and housing agencies to those who cannot afford their own accommodation.

The Council meeting, part of the pre-draft stage of forming the Development Plan to run from 2023 to 2029, was to examine the overarching strategies that will inform the draft plan to come before councillors by the end of the year and Cllr McDonnell said a more ambitious target for affordable housing was absolutely necessary.

“It must be included that at least 50% of housing must be affordable [in social housing developments],” he said.

This sentiment was echoed by Cllr Eddie Hoare (FG) who questioned if the City Council was ‘tied down’ by national guidelines, or if it could increase the minimum percentage of affordable housing required locally.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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