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Pioneering digital initiative helps recovery process for cardiovascular patients

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Irene Gibson, Director of Programmes and Innovation, National Institute for Prevention & Cardiovascular Health, Neil Johnson, Chief Executive, Croí, and Dr Lisa Hynes, Head of Health Programmes, Croí, pictured following the publication of a report into the outcomes of the Croí MySláinte digital cardiovascular disease prevention and recovery programme.

More than 100 heart patients across the west reaped the benefits of an innovative digital cardiovascular disease prevention and recovery programme developed by Galway heart and stroke charity Croí last year.

That according to figures compiled for the Croí MySláinte programme, which were presented to Health Minister Stephen Donnelly, as he officially opened its virtual launch at an event attended by stakeholders last week.

The programme, funded by the Government’s Sláintecare Integration Fund 2019, had to be delivered virtually due to restrictions on traditional healthcare delivery imposed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Croí’s pivot to virtual delivery involved the creation of a newly-developed interactive platform, which enabled participants to access the programme from the comfort and safety of their home, including access to pre-recorded videos, resources and links to weekly live Zoom sessions.

A total of 105 people, who had experienced a cardiac event such as a heart attack, opted to take part in the initiative.

Participants were aged between 35 and 84 years, and were referred from cardiac centres across the west of Ireland, including Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Limerick and Donegal.

Following a total of 423 virtual consultations over a period of twelve weeks, a range of health improvements resulted for those involved.

These saw physical activity levels increased almost six-fold; blood pressure control improving from 24% to 68%; and LDL cholesterol target achievement increased from 14% to 41%.

Over half of participants (57%) lost more than 2% of their bodyweight, with almost a quarter (23%) losing 5% or mor – and anxiety and depression levels among participants were reduced by more than half.

Many of the participants were also living with other health issues such as diabetes, arthritis, chronic kidney disease and cancer, meaning wider benefits for their other conditions also.

The programme, which was overseen by a consultant cardiologist, was delivered by a specialist interdisciplinary health team comprised of a cardiovascular nurse prescriber, a physiotherapist and a dietitian.

, Croí Head of Health Programmes, Dr Lisa Hynes, revealed that cardiovascular disease was the leading cause of death and disability in Ireland – and globally.

“We know that every year approximately 10,000 people die here from cardiovascular disease or CVD,” she said.

“Cardiac rehabilitation programmes, which are traditionally provided as a face-to-face activity, are proven to reduce cardiovascular death and disability.

“Through the virtual Croí MySláinte programme, we’re proud to have developed a new way to deliver this care with clinical outcomes that are comparable with those observed in traditional face-to-face programmes,” she added.

Croí CEO Neil Johnson, said that the results of the programme spoke for themselves.

“Like so many other post-pandemic changes, I believe that future healthcare delivery will never be the same again,” he said.

“I am convinced that the future of cardiovascular health programmes such as this must involve a hybrid approach of both in-person and virtual delivery.

“With Croí MySláinte, we saw that age is not a barrier to accessing or participating in a digital online programme. With support, people of any age can engage once they have access to the basics of a device and access to broadband. Our programme saw uptake of over 70% and retention of over 80%, with participants describing the programme as ‘life-changing’ and ‘life-saving’.

“We know that in pre-pandemic Ireland, we had historically poor uptake of cardiovascular disease prevention and rehabilitation programmes.

“Providing a mix of both online and in-person approaches means that we can improve uptake levels and be responsive to patient needs,” he added.

For anyone concerned about their heart health or seeking information on heart disease or stroke, contact Croí’s health team on 091 544310 or visit www.croi.ie

 

Connacht Tribune

Remembering the rough and tumble of open-air festivals

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Dave O'Connell
Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

One of those public relations puff pieces – admittedly sent out on behalf of a mattress manufacturer who might just have a vested interest in sleep – offered a series of suggestions by which those attending outdoor music festivals this summer might be assured of a restful night.

That conveniently overlooks the fact that no one ever went to a weekend music festival in search of a good night’s sleep; indeed, for some any form of shuteye qualifies as proof that things didn’t go as well as you might have hoped.

Which means that the suggestions of these ‘sleep experts’ might have to be taken with a small pinch of salt – after a shot of Tequila at sunrise if you’re a real music head, of course.

But for what they’re worth, the experts suggest you bring an eye mask, use ear plugs so you can tune into a relaxing podcast, and take a nap during the day.

Alternatively, you could always stay at home because the rough and tumble of a weekend in a tent on a boggy field might not be for you. Instead pull up a comfy chair and watch Glastonbury on the BBC.

Even as it is, those festival-goers who think they’re roughing it don’t know the meaning of the word; unless you were in Lisdoonvarna in the eighties, you have no idea what getting back to basics is all about.

Equally the modern outdoor music festival involves a field or a park in the middle of a city, to which you can take the LUAS and your picnic basket, secure in the knowledge that the concert licence means you’ll be on your way towards home by around half ten.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

The only thing Boris Johnson actually believes in is himself

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Boris Johnson...clinging on despite all the odds.

World of Politics with Harry McGee

This is a column that is a little bit about a political question – and a lot about how political leaders manage to cling on to power. The political question is the Northern Protocol, and the leader clinging on – despite all the odds – is, who else, but Boris Johnson.

How he has managed to stay in 10 Downing Street defies all precedent. Many of his predecessors have fallen on their swords for much, much less.

Since becoming Prime Minister, Johnson has careered from crisis to crisis, disaster to disaster. When it was agreed by the EU and the UK, he hailed the Northern Ireland Protocol as a triumph.

As the Prime Minister he ousted, Theresa May, reminded him in the Commons this week when she was speaking of his low stock among international leaders: “Actually, I suspect they are saying to themselves why should they negotiate in detail with a government that shows itself willing to sign an agreement, claim it as a victory, and then try and tear it apart in three years’ time?”

That’s a good question. Johnson is now trying to destroy something he partly created. And the litany of other contradictions run deep. He spent weeks going around the place joking about Covid, shaking hands, and downplaying its seriousness. Then he caught it and almost died from it.

The number of deaths in Britain from Covid were among the highest, pro rata, anywhere. It would have downed another leader. But not Johnson.

In fairness, the British were the first to come out with mass vaccinations even though the decision to extend the time period before the first and second jab was not a great one in retrospect.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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Connacht Tribune

Move sought on scheme to promote growing of catch crops

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Stephen Canavan: Scheme needed on catch crops.

THE Dept. of Agriculture has been urged to ‘move swiftly’ and introduce an incentive scheme for the growing of ‘catch crops’ this Summer to help any potential Winter feed shortages.

Galway IFA Chairman, Stephen Canavan, told the Farming Tribune that such a scheme would be easy to introduce and would incentivise farmers to grow catch crops such as rape and kale.

“These crops would provide a high-quality feed for stock during the early Winter period and would also give farmers the opportunity to reseed land for next year,” said Stephen Canavan.

He said that while the Fodder Support Scheme (FSS) would be a welcome help to farmers, more assistance from the Dept. of Agriculture would be required to ensure that there were no feed shortages over the coming Winter season.

Fast growing catch crops – such as rape and kale – can be sown in mid to late Summer and still be ready for feeding by the early Winter period.

However, last week, National IFA Chair, Paul O’Brien, hit out at the EU Commission for delivering ‘mixed messages’ in terms of their policy on farmers producing more grain and fodder crops.

He said that while last month, the EU were encouraging farmers to grow more crops for feed, they were at the same time pressing ahead with proposals for reductions in the use of pesticides – essential for crop protection.

“Commissioner Wojciechowski was explicit when he addressed our National Council last month: ‘the EU Farm to Fork policy will have to be re-visited in light of food security concerns.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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