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Areas with ‘average’ deprivation have least access to GPs

Areas of the country “experiencing average levels of deprivation” are least well served by general practice, new research has found. A recent Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) research bulletin on the use and supply of GP services found they were “most abundant in areas with the highest and lowest levels of deprivation”, while areas…

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Homeless hospital discharge programme to be evaluated

An independent evaluation of the homeless hospital discharge programme is being planned, the Medical Independent can report. The programme, funded by HSE Social Inclusion, Sláintecare and the Service Reform Fund is an interagency service for the delivery of healthcare to people experiencing homelessness. The work incorporates inclusion health services at St James’s Hospital, Dublin, and…

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Maintaining new supply route for medical radioisotopes ‘under discussion’

It has yet to be decided whether to continue with the new delivery route for medical radioisotopes, which was “deemed necessary” as a result of Brexit, the Medical Independent (MI) can report. The Department of Health together with the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP), HSE Acute Strategy and Planning, HSE Acute Operations, the Health Products…

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‘Increased usage’ of enhanced Employee Assistance Programme – HSE

A total of 184 medical and dental staff contacted the HSE Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) counselling service last year and in the first four months of 2021, according to figures obtained by the Medical Independent (MI). The HSE stated that 143 staff contacted the service in 2020 and 41 between January and April 2021. These…

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Several conditions could be added to bloodspot screening programme

Members of the national screening advisory committee (NSAC) have highlighted “several” conditions that could be considered for addition to the new-born bloodspot screening (NBS) programme, the Medical Independent can report. At its meeting on 20 May, the NSAC approved a new standardised application process and procedure for modifications to existing population-based screening programmes. “This builds…

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HIQA report imminent on gynae services at Letterkenny

HIQA’s review of governance arrangements for gynaecology services at Letterkenny University Hospital (LUH) is “almost complete” and due to be published in the coming weeks, a spokesperson informed the Medical Independent (MI) on 6 September. The Authority declined to provide any further comment in advance of the review’s completion and publication. In April 2021, HIQA…

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Confidentiality statements required of HSE pandemic group

Members of the HSE national health protection pandemic incident control team (PICT) are required to sign confidentiality statements, a spokesperson has confirmed. “Confidentiality is an integral part of working in the health services and inherent in all employee roles,” outlined the spokesperson. “It is not unusual to ask groups/committees to agree confidentiality as part of…

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Consultancy for Values in Action ‘culture change’ project has ceased – HSE

There are “no plans” to issue another external contract to support the Values in Action (ViA) staff ‘culture change’ initiative, the HSE has informed the Medical Independent (MI).However, ViA and other “culture improvement work” will continue under the auspices of the “capability and culture function”, which was established in March 2021 in the National HR…

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Concerns mounting over potential severity of winter influenza season

Concerns have been raised within the HSE that a reduction in people’s “genetic memory” of seasonal influenza may lead to a more problematic winter season. Meeting minutes of the HSE’s flu planning steering group on 23 June noted that “people’s genetic memory of flu is now likely to be significantly reduced so if flu circulates,…

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SSWHG and Saolta have most ‘non-specialist’ consultants

General medicine, psychiatry and surgery are the specialties with the most consultants employed by the HSE who are not on the specialist register of the Medical Council, the Medical Independent (MI) can report.South/South West Hospital Group (SSWHG) and Saolta University Health Care Group are the two Hospital Groups with the highest number of consultants who…

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