Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us


Galway ambulance delays putting lives at risk



Patients’ lives are being put at risk because ambulances are forced to park outside hospitals across the West for hours.

New figures obtained by the Connacht Tribune reveal that more than 500 ambulances a month are parked outside University Hospital Galway (UHG) for more than a half an hour – 95 of them were waiting over an hour. The official figures were released by the Health Service Executive (HSE) to Denis Naughten, Independent TD for the new Roscommon Galway constituency following a Parliamentary Question.

The recommended time is no more than a 20 minutes wait in hospital car parks.

Deputy Naughten said the figures are shocking and reveal how in total ambulances spent 532 hours parked outside the Emergency Department of UHG in the month of April, the latest month for which data was made available.

The figures show that 20% of all ambulances that arrive at Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe are waiting for over one hour in the car park.

“It is a deplorable situation and I have no doubt that lives are at risk,” said Deputy Naughten.

“It is clear that the overcrowding caused by the closure of Roscommon A&E is putting huge pressure on Portiuncula, with one in every five ambulances forced to wait more than an hour to discharge their patient into the care of hospital staff.”

These delays or “turnaround times” are a measure of how long it takes an ambulance to clear a hospital after its arrival with a patient. It includes patient handover to clinical personnel within the hospital and the time taken to clean and replenish ambulances to be ready for the next call.

Turnaround delays have a direct impact on overall response times, as ambulances are held back from taking on their next 999 call, said Deputy Naughten.

He said the reason for the delays is twofold: The Emergency Department’s are overcrowded and have no beds or trolleys to accommodate the ambulance patients; or staff in the Emergency Department are too busy tied-up with more serious cases and so ambulance staff can’t ‘sign over’ their patients.

He said at one point last November, every ambulance that was stationed at Roscommon, Loughrea, and Ballinasloe was parked up outside UHG, with repercussions for ambulance response times across the West.

Deputy Naughten said: “This disclosure is nothing short of deplorable as it means that these ambulances are not available to respond to the next 999 call which in some instances could by hours away from the nearest emergency department.

“The figures clearly highlight the need to properly resource the emergency departments in Portiuncula and University Hospital Galway in order to meet the demands which are being placed upon them.

“However, it also again highlights the lack of capacity within the ambulance service, and the need to provide additional ambulances and crews to operate the new ambulance stations at Tuam and Loughglynn, in West Roscommon. Is it any wonder that the National Ambulance Service is failing to meet the HIQA target of having an ambulance at the scene of a life threatening emergency within 18 minutes?

“These figures are just another example of where the emergency services are failing the public who rely upon them due to inadequate resourcing, which effectively means that we have death by geography, for those who are forced to rely on the ambulance service to get to hospital.”

Connacht Tribune

Boil water notice issued for Barna area



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.

Continue Reading


Councillors back bid to ban city centre parking in Galway



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Councillors have unanimously agreed to ask Transport Minister Eamon Ryan to limit parking to residents only in the city centre.

Pedestrians in the city are being treated like second-class citizens, according to the Mayor, who said cars continued to get the priority on Galway’s streets.

At a meeting of the City Council this week, Mayor Colette Connolly (Ind) said the city had come to a standstill in car traffic, and pedestrians and cyclists were suffering the consequences.

“At junctions, why am I a second-class citizen in my own city as a pedestrian? It rains in Galway for 300 days of the year, but I am a second-class citizen when priority is given to motorists.

“It’s always the pedestrian that waits,” she said, hitting out at the length it took to get a green light to cross at pedestrian crossings.

One way to reduce the number of cars in the city centre would be to limit parking to residents only in the city centre, said the Mayor.

In a motion she proposed, seconded by Cllr Mike Cubbard (Ind), councillors unanimously agreed to write to the Minister for Transport to demand he pass the necessary legislation to enable the Council to do this.

The Mayor said residents were “sick, sore and tired” of people parking where they wanted when they visited the city and said despite a desire to introduce this measure going back almost 20 years, the Council was hamstrung by national legislation that prevented them from proceeding.

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.

Continue Reading


Planners approve homes for ‘cuckoo fund’ investor



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The green light has been given for the construction of 345 apartments at the Crown Square site in Mervue – the majority of which will be put on the rental market and operated by a ‘cuckoo fund’ for a minimum of fifteen years.

Crown Square Developments, which is owned by developer Padraic Rhatigan, has secured permission from An Bord Pleanála for the ‘Build to Rent’ development, with four blocks ranging ranging from four to nine storeys in height.

There will also be a neighbourhood facility with a gym, a primary care medical centre with pharmacy, a ‘working from home’ lounge, six shops, a games room and a creche.

There will be 240 two-bed apartments, 86 one-beds and 19 three-beds, all of which will be specifically for the rental market and not available to purchase.

A breakdown of the apartments shows there will be 240 two-beds; 86 one-beds and 19 three-beds.

To meet social housing requirements, the developer plans to transfer 35 of the apartments (20 two-bed, 10 one-bed and 5 three-bed) to Galway City Council.

A total of 138 car-parking spaces have been allocated on the lower basement levels of Crown Square for residents, along with shared access to another 109 spaces and another 13 for use by a ‘car club’. There will be 796 secure bicycle parking spaces to serve the apartments.

The Board has ordered that the apartments can only be used as long-term rentals, and none can be used for short-term lettings.

Under ‘Build to Rent’ guidelines, the development must be owned and operated by an institutional entity for a minimum period of 15 years and “where no individual residential units shall be sold separately for that period”. The 15-year period starts from the date of occupation of the first residential unit.

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.


Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads