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New Mayor elected for Ballinasloe

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A new Mayor and Deputy Mayor have been selected for Ballinasloe for the coming year.

Independent Cllr Mike Kelly has been elected as Mayor while Labour Cllr Johnny Walsh has been elected as Deputy Mayor.

It follows a meeting of the Town Council last evening.

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Concerns raised over capacity issues at Portiuncula Hospital Ballinasloe

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Concerns have been raised over capacity issues at Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe.

Roscommon/Galway TD Denis Naughten has questioned the Health Minister, Stephen Donnelly, about the hospital’s ability to deal with current surge of COVID-19.

In June, Deputy Naughten contacted the former Health Minister Simon Harris seeking funding to develop two separate modular buildings to segregate and deal with both COVID and non-COVID patients at the facility.

In response to the concerns raised by Deputy Naughten, Minister Stephen Donnelly has said he will revert to his questions with a note as it refers to a specific capital build and refurbishment project.

In a statement to Galway Bay fm news, the Saolta Group confirmed there are six critical care beds in the hospital.

As part of the hospital’s COVID-19 escalation plan, two additional beds can be immediately escalated in response to a sudden increase in patient volume and demand for hospital care and resources including ICU beds, staff and equipment.

If required in the third stage of escalation, a further 5 ICU/HDU beds can be brought on stream.

It adds that enabling works are underway to prepare the site for the new 50 bed ward block which will provide 50 single en-suite rooms, while work is also underway to move the outpatients department to a new modular building which is due to be operational by the end of February.

Deputy Naughten argues Portiuncula is the only acute model 3 or model 4 hospital in the country that did not secure additional beds to cope with the surge in Covid infections.

He says the notes needed now from Minister Donnelly are those sanctioning the funding to provide actual beds in the hospital to deal with the current situation – for more, tune in to Galway Bay fm news on the hour…

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Four wards closed at UHG due to COVID-19 outbreaks

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Four wards have been closed at UHG due to outbreaks of COVID-19.

The city’s acute hospital has six COVID-19 designated wards in operation.

There are 15 patients in the ICU at UHG, an increase of five in the last week as the acute hospital had transfers from Letterkenny and Mayo hospitals due to capacity issues.

Private hospitals are assisting with the effort with 15 elderly or frailty patients at the Bons Secours and 25 acute medicine and oncology patients at The Galway Clinic.

Chris Kane, General Manager at Galway University Hospitals told Keith Finnegan on Galway Talks that green ward or non-COVID ward availability is quite low at approximately four wards with efforts ongoing to try to get beds back into the system….

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GRETB allocated over €2m for provision of youth services

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Galway Roscommon Education and Training Board has been allocated over €2 million in funding to support the provision of youth services .

Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman has confirmed that €66.8 million in funding has been made available nationwide to support the provision of such services in 2021.

UBU Your Place Your Space provides out-of-school supports to young people in their local communities to enable them to overcome adverse circumstances and achieve their full potential by improving their personal and social development outcomes.

National Youth Organisations are also to benefit from some €12m in universal funding.

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