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UHG one of worst hospitals in country due to A&E ills

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New figures which rate the Emergency Department at University Hospital Galway (UHG) among the worst in the country have been described as a “damning indictment” of current management structures at the hospital.

Mayor of Galway Padraig Conneely (FG), who is also Chairman of the HSE West, said he was not a bit surprised to discover that more than one in four of the patients admitted to the Emergency Department (ED) faced a wait of more than nine hours to be either admitted to a bed or discharged.

The latest hospital ED tables, for the month of November, show that UHG is the sixth worst performing hospital in the State with only 73.7% of patients being admitted or discharged within nine hours.

Mayor Conneely said the true figure for more recent weeks is set to be even higher, given that two recent outbreaks of the winter vomiting bug and overcrowding at the ED led to some surgeries being cancelled.

“I am not in the least surprised by the figures which emerged yesterday,” said Mayor Conneely. “I regularly visit the hospital and I have major concerns about what’s going on there. There has to be a better way and these latest figures prove that.

“Despite the new management structures which have been put in place, they don’t seem to have repaired the system. It’s not working. They cannot seem to break away from the dinosaur which was the old HSE management system.”

Mayor Conneely said he did not need the publication of any figures to tell him that the ED was among the worst performing hospitals, as he regularly saw patients on trollies when he visited UHG.

“I regularly see the stress, agony and pain on the faces of the patients there,” he said. “I keep hearing horrific stories of elderly people waiting up to 24 hours to get a bed. The patients are the most important people there and there has to be a more patient-focused service at UHG.

“While there is no blame attached to the doctors and nurses on the front line, the HSE is like a big dinosaur that’s still there.

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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