Date Published: 23-Jun-2011
by Bernie Ní Fhlatharta
A woman in labour was forced to wait in a toilet of the Maternity Unit at University Hospital Galway this week due to chronic overcrowding.
This happened in a week when the number of patients on trolleys in the A&E department reached an all-time high of 39 yesterday, the highest in the whole country; while an 80 years old stroke victim spent 34 hours on a trolley at the A&E over the weekend.
When the Galway mother, who wishes to remain anonymous, arrived into the Maternity Unit on Tuesday night, the waiting room was so crowded with other women in labour that she was offered the adjacent toilet as the only other space for her to wait until she was admitted.
She did eventually get into a labour ward to deliver a bouncing baby boy, but yesterday, another woman, who was in the early stages of labour, was sent home because there was no bed for her.
The closure of about 100 beds in the hospital due to staff shortages has taken its toll on the Emergency Department in the past year especially, and though there are about 3,500 babies born a year in the Galway hospital, reports of overcrowding in the Maternity Unit are rare.
Yesterday, Councillor Catherine Connolly, who is a member of the HSE Regional Health Forum, described the current overcrowding at the hospital as “barbaric” and worried what the next crisis would be.
“The consequences of closing beds – over 140 between UHG and Merlin Park – and wards is that we are going from one hospital crisis to another.
“It is leading to a great personal cost and waiting lists are growing out of all proportions. I am not holding staff responsible but the management based policy,” she added.
For more on this story, see the Galway City Tribune.
Galway ‘Park and Ride’ could become permanent
Date Published: 07-May-2013
A park ‘n’ ride scheme from Carnmore into Galway city could become a permanent service if there is public demand.
That’s according to the Chief Executive of Galway Chamber of Commerce, Michael Coyle.
The pilot scheme will begin at 7.20 next Monday morning, May 13th.
Motorists will be able to park cars at the airport carpark in Carnmore and avail of a bus transfer to Forster Street in the city.
Buses will depart every 20 minutes at peak times and every 30 minutes at offpeak times throughout the day, at a cost of 2 euro per journey.
Tuam awaits UK hay import as overnight rainfall adds to fodder crisis
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Tuam is now awaiting a third import of hay from the UK as overnight rainfall has increased pressure on farmers struggling to source fodder.
A total of ten loads are expected at Connacht Gold stores throughout the West with a load expected at the Airglooney outlet this evening or tomorrow.
Farmers throughout the county have been struggling to cope with the animal feed shortage and a below than normal grass growth due to unseasonal weather conditions.
Overnight rainfall in the Galway area has also added to the problem making ground conditions in many areas are quite poor.
Joe Waldron, Agricultual Advisor with Connacht Gold says farmers in short supply can contact the Airglooney outlet on 093 – 24101.
Transport Minister urges end to Bus Eireann strike action
Date Published: 12-May-2013
The Transport Minister is urging drivers at Bus Éireann to engage in talks with management, in an effort to bring their strike action to an end.
There were no Bus Éireann services operating out of Galway today as a result of nationwide strike action by staff affiliated with the national bus and rail union.
Up to 20 Bus Éireann drivers are continuing to picket outside the bus depot at the docks in the city this evening.
Drivers from other unions have decided not to cross the picket line and go into work today – causing the disruption to be even worse.
Bus drivers are protesting against five million euro worth of cuts to their overtime and premium pay – cuts which Bus Eireann says are vital to ensure the future viability of the company.
The majority of services nationwide are disrupted, and the union say strike action will continue until management are willing to go back into negotiations.
However, it’s not expected to affect school services next week.
Galway bay fm news understands that around 70 percent, or over 100 Galway bus Eireann drivers are affiliated with the NBRU.