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HSE defends acute bed reconfiguation plans for Ballinasloe pyschiatric unit

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Galway bay fm newsroom -The HSE has moved to reassure mental health patients and their families that any reconfiguration of acute beds across Galway and Roscommon will not impact on the availability of required services.

That’s the message from Dr. Amanda Burke, an Executive Clinical Director who was speaking at a special media briefing in Merlin Park today on the proposed changes and new developments within the service.

This involves home-based treatment teams, assertive outreach and the development of community mental health services.

Currently, there are 35 acute in-patient beds in the city with 22 in Ballinasloe and a further 22 in Roscommon.

Under a three phased plan, this will eventually be restructured to 50 beds in UHG with 22 in Roscommon.

The Ballinasloe Health campus will then be used for 16 pyschiatry of later life beds as well as a day hospital and a base for community mental health teams.

Local campaign groups including the Psychiatric Nurses Association have argued that winding down the acute unit in Ballinasloe is premature stating that there is not sufficient community care teams in place.

However Dr. Amanda Burke told Galway Bay fm news that services will be enhanced as part of the national Vision for Change strategy.

She stresses that points of access for patients will not be changed

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Landowners impacted by Galway to Athlone greenway corridor concerned at level of consultation

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Galway county council officials have moved to defend the level of consultation with landowners over the planned greenway, as some in the South and East of the county push for group meetings and responses to their objection letters.

It comes as the development of a 140 kilometre cycling path between Galway and Athlone has become a major cause for concern for a number of landowners along the proposed route.

A number have stated they have not received adequate consultation, while many more are refusing to engage with the project team.

Raymond Finnerty and Aoife McCabe are some of those impacted with farmland based in Newtown in Kilcolgan.

They attended two meetings, with one via Zoom and another held in person.

They have submitted two letters with objections and have had no contact back.

They are pushing for a group meeting of four farmers impacted from their local area, instead of individual meetings.

In a statement, Galway Council officials say at this stage of the process, all that has been identified is a ‘preferred corridor’, not a specific route.

They further state that within that corridor there are many possible routes , so as of yet individual landholdings have not been finalised.

Officials have also moved to defend the level of consultation stating Project Liaison Officers have had over 450 face to face or phone calls meetings with landowners since January alone within the preferred corridor.

It concludes that every effort will be made to minimise the number of private land holdings directly affected by the proposed greenway.

To hear more, tune in to Galway Bay fm news on the hour

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ATU Galway to host public seminar on skills needs of traditional building sector

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From Galway Bay FM newsroom- ATU Galway, formerly GMIT, is set to hold a public seminar on the skills needs of the traditional building sector in Ireland.

The seminar will involve a panel discussion between representatives from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, the society for the protection of ancient Buildings, education providers and representatives of the traditional skills sector.

The seminar will be held on Friday 3rd of June with further information found on ATU’s Galway International Hotel School website.

This will be followed by a demonstration of traditional skills at the Irish Workhouse centre in Portumna on Saturday 4th of June.

Event Organiser and heritage lecturer at ATU, Gary Dempsey explained the seminar will help preserve traditional building skills:

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Galway public hospitals significantly affected by national strike by medical scientists

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From Galway Bay FM newsroom- Galway’s public hospitals are significantly affected by today’s national strike by medical scientists.

Tony Canavan, CEO of the Saolta Hospital group, which includes UHG and Merlin Park, says many elective surgeries and outpatient procedures have been cancelled as a result.

Significant delays at emergency departments are also expected.

Speaking to Keith Finnegan on Galway Talks, Tony Canavan explained patients have been contacted about cancelled procedures.

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