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News - Donegal Sinn Fein

Doherty Welcomes Measures Introduced to Address Deficiencies Identified at Ard Gréine Court

Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Deputy Pearse Doherty has welcomed confirmation from the HSE that a number of measures and key actions have been introduced at Ard Gréine Court in Stranorlar to address a recent damning HIQA report which found serious incidences of regulatory non-compliance at the centre which cares for adults with intellectual disabilities.

In a reply to a Parliamentary Question tabled by Deputy Doherty, the HSE has stated that it has now taken a number of steps at the centre aimed at delivering service improvements including additional staff training, the conducting of random spot checks, the reviewing of centre practices in response to resident behaviour as well as new control measures to minimise patient risk.

Welcoming the HSE’s response, Deputy Doherty said:

“The publication in August of the latest HIQA inspection into services at Ard Gréine Court raised a number of very serious questions surrounding practices at the unit which inspectors felt posed a genuine risk to the welfare and safety of residents and staff there.

“The report at the time identified serious failings in terms of centre governance and management, deficits and gaps in staff training, as well a number of incidences of major non-compliance with respect to national protocols and guidelines.

“Immediately following its publication, I raised the HIQA findings with the Minister for Health and asked what measures were being taken to remedy and address the many shortcomings in the care being provided to patients at Ard Gréine which HIQA inspectors found during their visit earlier this year.

“I have now been provided with an update of those measures by the HSE and the many steps which are now being taken to help tackle the centre’s outstanding issues and deficiencies arising from that report.

“Amongst them, the HSE has stated that all staff in the centre have received safeguarding awareness training, and safeguarding continues to be discussed at all monthly staff meetings.

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Children Waiting over a Year for Audiology Appointments in Donegal ‘Deeply Concerning’ - Doherty

Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Deputy Pearse Doherty has today (Wednesday) criticised the lengthy waiting times for Under 18s audiology services in Donegal following the release of figures from the HSE which show that there are currently over 800 children on the audiology waiting list, 110 of whom have been waiting over twelve months for an appointment.

Branding the figures as ‘deeply concerning’ Deputy Doherty said:

“The HSE Community Audiology Service was established to provide a comprehensive audiology service for infants, children as well as eligible adults and medical card holders and offers hearing assessment, diagnostic and habilitative services, hearing aid fitting and follow-up care to patients.

“However, following concerns from Constituents surrounding the delays facing patients awaiting an appointment from the Service, I decided to raise the issue of waiting times with the Minister in the Dáil last month for service users here in Donegal.

“The HSE has now provided me with a full breakdown of those waiting list figures and it’s evident from the data that children and all those under the age 18 years of age face some of the longest waiting times here in the county for audiology services.

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HSE Agrees to Relax Time Rules for Children’s In-Home Palliative Care in Donegal

Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Deputy Pearse Doherty has today (Friday) welcomed a commitment given by the HSE that it will relax controversial time rules being considered for children’s In-home palliative care services in Donegal allowing parents and guardians to leave the home for periods of no than 30 minutes during visits by nursing staff.

The decision, which was announced at today’s HSE Oireachtas Health Forum in Stranorlar, comes following months of growing frustration from parents of children with complex needs and life limiting conditions who opposed the restrictions which were first mooted earlier this year.

Deputy Doherty said:

“I am delighted to have it confirmed by HSE Management at today’s Oireachtas Health Forum meeting that the executive has decided to rethink and relax its plans to introduce a 30 minute leave period from the home for parents and guardian of children receiving In-home palliative care in Donegal.

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X-Ray Facilities at Donegal Community Hospital Must be restored without Delay – Doherty

Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Deputy Pearse Doherty has today (Thursday) called on the both the HSE and the Minister to re-instate X-ray services at Donegal Community Hospital without delay.

The facilities, which have not been operational since early September due to equipment failure, have yet to be repaired as the hospital is currently awaiting the order of a machine component. Deputy Doherty, who has raised the disruption with the Minister in the Dáil, is calling on the authorities to restore the service without further delay.

Deputy Doherty said:

“Last month I was contacted by constituents in South Donegal over concerns that the X-ray Department at Donegal Community Hospital was no longer accepting patients due to problems with the hospital’s x-ray equipment.

“Engineers were called to inspect the equipment, which had previously broken down just a few weeks previous when inspectors then discovered that the digitizer was not working properly.

“While the facility re-opened shortly after this, the X-ray Department was forced to suspend the service once again in September and engineers confirmed that the digitizer was not repairable and needed to be replaced.

“The service in Donegal Town had to cease and patients have been forced to travel to Killybegs Community Hospital since 7th September in order to have x-rays carried out.

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