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Programme for tackling obesity wins international award

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A health programme aimed at tackling obesity, developed and delivered by the West of Ireland Heart & Stroke Charity Croí, in collaboration with the Bariatric Services at Galway University Hospital has scooped a top European research award.

Research from the Croí CLANN Programme (Changing Lifestyle through Activity and Nutrition) was awarded the “CCNAP Best Abstract 2015” at the EuroHeartCare congress in Dubrovnik, Croatia this week.

The event, the official annual meeting of the Council on Cardiovascular Nursing and Allied Professions (CCNAP) of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), saw the Galway project selected as the overall winner in a competition of over 200 abstracts from 40 countries.

Croi CLANN is a 10-week intensive lifestyle modification programme for adults with a Body Mass Index more than 35kg/m2, delivered by a multidisciplinary team in the Croí Heart and Stroke Centre, Newcastle, alway in a unique collaboration between Croí and the Bariatric Services at Galway University Hospital

The research which was presented by Jenni Jones, Director of the National Institute for Preventive Cardiology, revealed that “at the time of joining the programme 7 in 10 people with significant excess weight were at high risk of dying from a heart attack or stroke in the next 5-10 years.”

“Only 4% were sufficiently active for their health and one in two presented with concerning levels of depression; many feeling socially isolated. By the end of the programme the levels of clinical depression had halved, there was a three-fold increase in the proportion of people achieving the recommended levels of physical activity (accompanied by significant improvements in fitness) and blood pressure, lipids and blood glucose were better controlled,” she said.

Ms Jones added: “These significant reductions in cardiovascular risk and morbidity translate to potentially sizeable cost savings to the health service, but increased access to this programme and its expansion to other parts of Ireland is urgently needed given the current trends in obesity in Ireland.

“This programme doesn’t just tackle weight; more importantly, it provides a holistic approach to supporting healthier living. Further research however, including randomised controlled trial data is now needed”

Welcoming the award, Dr Francis Finucane, Consultant Endocrinologist at GUH and Clinical Lead for the Programme said: “This programme shows that applying an evidence-based approach to health behaviour change achieves impressive objective improvements in health outcomes in carefully selected high-risk groups of patients.”

CITY TRIBUNE

Mercury hit 30°C for Galway City’s hottest day in 45 years

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –

Wednesday was the hottest day in the city over the past 45 years when with a high of 30.1 Celsius being recorded at the NUI Galway Weather Station.

The highest temperature ever recorded in the city dates back to June 30, 1976, when the late Frank Gaffney had a reading of 30.5° Celsius at his weather station in Newcastle.

Pharmacists and doctors have reported a surge in people seeking treatment for sunburn.

A Status Yellow ‘high temperature warning’ from Met Éireann – issued on Tuesday – remains in place for Galway and the rest of the country until 9am on Saturday morning.

It will be even hotter in the North Midlands, where a Status Orange temperature warning is in place.

One of the more uncomfortable aspects of our current heatwave has been the above average night-time temperatures and the high humidity levels – presenting sleeping difficulties for a lot of people.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Property Tax hike voted down in Galway City

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A proposal to boost Galway City Council coffers by half a million euro every year by increasing Local Property Tax (LPT) did not receive the support of city councillors.

Councillor Peter Keane (FF) failed to get a seconder at this week’s local authority meeting for his motion to increase the LPT payable on Galway City houses by 5%.

Cllr Keane said that the increase would net the Council €500,000 every year, which could be spent evenly on services across all three electoral wards.

It would be used to fund services and projects city councillors are always looking for, including a proposal by his colleague Cllr Imelda Byrne for the local authority to hire additional staff for city parks.

The cost to the taxpayer – or property owner – would be minimal, he insisted.

“It would mean that 90% of households would pay 37 cent extra per week,” he said.

Not one of the 17 other elected members, including four party colleagues, would second his motion and so it fell.

Another motion recommending no change in the current rate of LPT in 2022 was passed by a majority.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City Council needs 40 more workers to help deliver on projects

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –  Forty more workers are needed at City Hall ‘right away’, the Chief Executive of Galway City Council has said.

Brendan McGrath has warned city councillors that the local authority is understaffed and it needs to hire more staff immediately to deliver its plans and projects.

The total cost of the extra 40 workers, including salary, would be between €1.75 million and €1.95 million.

Mr McGrath said that the City Council had a workforce now that was below what it had in 2007, but the city’s population has grown and so too had the services the Council provides.

The population of Galway City grew by almost 11% in the 10 years to 2016, he said, and total staff numbers in the Council fell by 13.6% during that period.

Though more staff were hired in recent years, Mr McGrath said that the Council was at 2007 and 2008 staffing levels, even though the Census will record further increases in population since 2016.

Mr McGrath said that the City Council now provides 1,000 services across a range of departments, far more than during the 2000s.

He said that currently, 524 staff are employed at the City Council. This equated to 493 Whole Time Equivalents when part-time workers such as school wardens and Town Hall workers are included.

Mr McGrath said that 12% of all staff are in acting up positions, with many more in short-term or fixed-term contracts. There was a highly competitive jobs market and the Council was finding recruitment and retention of specialist staff difficult.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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