Islands Primary Care review recommends island proofing government policy

Galway Bay fm newsroom – Government policy needs to be ‘island proofed’ to take account of the impact on island residents in Galway and other island communities.
That’s one of the recommendations from a review of the newly published Primary Care Islands Services.
It also recommends that services be provided in Irish for those who require them.
The review was commissioned to develop a sustainable, cost-effective quality and fair primary care service that meets the needs of islanders.
The Primary Care Island Services Review report was launched at the Maldron Hotel in Oranmore by Chairperson of the West Regional Health Forum, Councillor Rosaleen O’ Grady.
It’s based on consultations with island communities, healthcare workers and key staff from the HSE.
There are just over 14 hundred people living on Galway’s 4 islands – the Aran Islands and Inishbofin.
On Inishbofin, there is a GP service 3 sessions per month and a resident public health nurse providing 24/7 service.
Inis Mór has a resident GP and a nurse five days a week and a community nursing unit.
On Inis Meáin there is a resident nurse who provides 24/7 care and a GP who visits the island 3 times a week.
Inis Oírr has a resident GP and practice nurse and a public health nurse who visits 3 days per week.
Among the recommendations of the review is that the HSE will consider the recruitment and training of healthcare assistants on islands, to work as part of a team with the island nursing service.
The report also recommends that psychological supports be enhanced in primary care on the islands.
In relation to emergency care, the report recommends that there should be a major accident plan specific to each island such as Inisbofin and Inis Mór and regular practices should be carried out.
Also an annual audit of island emergency evacuations will be carried out and the pathway for management of out of hours GP service should be clarified.
In terms of physical infrastructure, new primary care centres will be developed on Inishbofin and Inis Mór.
A National Forum will be convened in the first quarter of next year to implement the recommendations of the report.