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HSE pays to help staff quit smoking

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An unknown amount of money from the West’s health budget has gone ‘up in smoke’ to train staff to stub-out their addictive smoking habits.

Hundreds of public health staff across the West, including Galway, were trained in how to stop smoking in 2013 – but the Health Service Executive (HSE) West says it doesn’t know how much the courses cost.

According to new figures obtained by the Galway City Tribune under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, a total of 367 HSE West staff received ‘smoking cessation’ training in 2013.

However, the cost of training staff to kick the smoking habit is unknown because the HSE West says it “does not hold records on the cost of providing internal training”.

It was confirmed that 194 staff from hospitals in the west as well as 173 primary care staff availed of the smoking cessation course, which are offered free of charge to all staff who smoke. The training course lasts six hours and is “national standardised”.

The cessation courses, which aim to help staff to stop smoking cigarettes, were held in-house at HSE West venues and were run by HSE trainers.

“The staff who attended the courses came from a variety of locations across the HSE West. Courses were run in a number of HSE venues from Donegal to Limerick, and a mix of staff from a range of disciplines in both primary care and acute hospital locations participated across the region.

“All brief intervention smoking cessation training was delivered by HSE trainers, comprising of health promotion and hospital cessation staff. This is a national standardised training course of six hours in duration,” the HSE West said.

The training courses were held at 16 centres across the HSE West administrative area. That included at the maternity lecture room at University Hospital Galway, and Brackernagh Health Centre in Ballinasloe.

There were further courses held at five Limerick locations, four Donegal locations and in Sligo, Ennis, Sacred Heart Training Centre in Roscommon, and the centre of nursing and midwifery education, Castlebar, Mayo.

CITY TRIBUNE

Minister deploys high-level ‘rescue’ team to help University Hospital Galway

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has deployed a high-level National Support Team to help crisis-stricken University Hospital Galway

Ann Cosgrove, Chief Operating Officer of the Saolta University Healthcare Group – which operates UHG and Merlin Park – confirmed this week that the ‘rescue’ team was in place to tackle overcrowding and delays at the Emergency Department.

Membership of the support team includes at least seven high-level HSE managers, including a hospital consultant.

The team has already met with local staff in charge of patient flow, discharges, bed management and unscheduled care. They will write up an action plan to improve the patient experience, she said.

The hospital has implemented a targeted intervention plan over the past few months to reduce the number of patients on trolleys while awaiting admission to a bed, focusing on timely diagnostics and decision making and the timely discharge of patients.

To achieve this, the hospital had been approved to recruit seven patient flow coordinators, one “data analyst for the acute floor” and one medical social worker.

Management are also in talks to increase bed capacity with the Galway Clinic and the Bon Secours private hospitals.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, and support our journalism, see the November 25 edition of the Galway City Tribune. There is also extensive coverage this week of plans for a new cancer Centre of Excellence and the latest meeting of the Regional Health Forum West. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Shoplifting in Galway almost doubles as cost of living crisis takes hold

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The rate of shoplifting in the Galway City has skyrocketed as the cost of living crisis takes hold.

At a public meeting of the City Joint Policing Committee (JPC) on Tuesday, it was revealed that the rate of theft from shops in the city had increased by 87% year-on-year.

Chief Data Analyst for the Galway Garda Division, Olivia Maher, said this was in line with a national trend.

“There is some thought that this is as a result of the cost of living crisis and the pressures that people are under as a result – we are seeing these trends at a national level,” said Ms Maher.

She said that overall, property theft had begun to return to pre-Covid levels, with 1,264 incidents in the first 10 months of 2022 – a 50% increase on the same period last year.

“Property crime is beginning to reach pre-Covid figures and while it’s up on last year, it’s down 5% on the 2019 figure.

“Burglary is still trending below pre-Covid figures at 107 compared to 192 in 2019,” said Ms Maher.

An increased awareness of fraud was resulting in a reduction in a number of categories, including accommodation fraud, something that typically affects the city’s third level students.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article,  see the November 25 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Knocknacarra Educate Together NS mark World Children’s Day

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune Schools’ Pages – World Children’s Day is celebrated each year on November 20 – it is UNICEF’s annual day of action for children, by children.

For the pupils of Knocknacarra Educate Together National School, this day is about teaching children about their rights and raising awareness of how they can use them.

They demonstrated this by hosting the Happy Hour on University of Galway’s FlirtFM 101.3 last Tuesday.

6th Class student Leon said: “We are hoping to raise awareness of children’s rights, mainly because some children may not know what they even are. Not all children know that they have rights. We want to help children understand what they deserve.”

The day is also an opportunity to draw attention to important issues affecting children locally, nationally and on an international level.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of when Ireland first signed the Children’s Rights Charter in 1992. This charter contains 42 articles which specifically outline the rights of the child. These include the rights to an education, to play, to access health care, to have a voice, to have protection from violence and to have a decent standard of living.

To acknowledge this important event, Mayor of Galway, Clodagh Higgins, visited the school to learn about its school’s three-year journey to become formally recognised as a Child Rights School. It will be the first school in Galway to earn the UNICEF Child Rights Ribbon.

As part of this work, each class has created their own charter which is an agreement on how the rights of the child will be made real in their classrooms. This links to article four on the Convention of the rights of the child ‘Making Rights Real’.

The whole school has a fortnightly focus on the different articles within the Convention of the Rights of the Child.

This involves highlighting child-friendly information and activities which enable children to explore children’s rights in their classes.

Children have learnt about experiences of children from other countries and shared their thoughts and views. The have explored how the articles from the Convention impact them in their lives and discussed why each one is important. The articles which we have learnt about as a school this year to date are as follows:

Article 12 – Respect for Children’s Views

Article 14 – Freedom of Thought and Religion

Article 15 – Setting Up or Joining Groups.

Article 38 – Protection in War

Article 39 – Recovery and Reintegration

The Student Council are also busy translating the school policies into more child-friendly language in order to make school information accessible for all.

Dexter, a student in third class, said: “I feel happy and feel more important than I did before. I thought I had to always listen to the adults. I feel like I have a chance to speak for myself now.”

For more information, see HERE

■ This article was written by the Child Rights Committee and Student Council at Knocknacarra Educate Together National School.

See the November 25 edition of the Galway City Tribune for photos and news from Knocknacarra Educate Together NS; St Patrick’s Primary School and Oranmore Boys’  School. You can send us news from your city primary or secondary school for inclusion in our weekly ‘Class Act’ pages to schools@ctribune.ie

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