24TH MAY, 2010



Emergency Department, Our Lady of Lourdes, Drogheda
The opening of the new ED in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda has
experienced a number of delays outside the control of the HSE – industrial
action which commenced on the 25th of January 2010 saw unions across the county and the public sector instruct members not to co-operate with any reform or Transformation agenda. In the North East meetings in relation to progressing the service changes for the transfer of services from Louth County Hospital Dundalk to Drogheda were postponed due to lack of
engagement. In March in a very welcomed move unions agreed to give the
North East Transformation programme derogation from this industrial action and commenced re engagement and discussion on the service changes. A framework document on the redeployment of staff has now been agreed, this document will now allow the appointment of the essential staff to proceed to facilitate the opening of the new ED.

The HSE have now advertised an expression of interest in all Dublin North
East Hospitals seeking staff interested in working in the new ED in OLOL,
which should allow the ED to open after a period of training, orientation
and induction. Once staff have transferred and the ED service established
in the new department there are plans for the vacated space to be used for
the establishment of a Medical Assessment Unit.

There are also plans to open two new additional wards over the ED, and a
new CCU, work is also due to commence on the expansion to the intensive
care unit.

The date for the opening of the new ED cannot be finalised yet but the HSE
remain committed to opening it as soon as possible now that the discussions
with unions have been finalised to allow the redeployment of staff. A good
response from experience staff currently within our hospitals will assist
this process and allow the centralisation of emergency services within
County Louth to occur in the near future.

County Infirmary (Community Nursing Unit) – Navan
The HSE is examining options to relocate the service provision at the
County Infirmary site in Navan. This will allow for the release of staff
for training and induction towards commissioning of the new Unit. All
clients availing of respite service will continue to be accommodated during
this interim period.

The new Community Unit will replace the Co. Infirmary, Navan. All Co.
Infirmary respite clients and staff will transfer to this new purpose-built
facility, located on HSE grounds beside OLH Navan. This unit will comprise
of 50 residential beds, to include respite care, rehabilitation, assessment
& review and continuing care. The unit will also extend a range of day
care services to both psychiatric & older person, ranging from medical,
nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech & language therapy. The unit will accommodate both clinic and administration accommodation for palliative care service.

This unit will require to be registered by HIQA so a specific timeline for
opening is not yet identified.

Update on reconfiguration of Services for Older Persons, Drogheda
Louth PCCC are currently in the process of reconfiguring respite beds in
Drogheda. This will not affect our ability to continue to provide the
current level of respite service to over 130 older people. This reconfiguration means that the HSE will continue to have 15 respite beds
in Drogheda across the three sites of Drogheda Services for Older People:-
The Cottage Hospital, Boyne View House and St Mary’s.

The reasons for this reconfiguration is necessary are as follows:-

  • HIQA legislation – this requires us to adapt the environment in the residential units in order to ensure that the privacy and dignity of each resident is protected within a person centred approach;
  • Nursing Home Support Scheme legislation – this has resulted, initially, in a reduction in the demand for our public residential beds and a greater concentration on the private sector;
  • Staff/Resident Ratio – The reconfiguration of the respite service will ensure that care is delivered to respite clients in an environment that has the optimal level of staffing.

As part of this reconfiguration, Unit 1 in the Cottage Hospital will be
closed and vacant beds in other units within the Drogheda Services will be
opened to ensure the current level of service is maintained while meeting
the challenges as outlined above. A communication process has commenced with patients and their families plus our staff and the HSE would hope to be in a position for initiate these changes within 6 – 12 weeks.

HSE Staff are not being redeployed outside the service but may be
redeployed within the three sites for Drogheda Services for Older People.

Louth County Hospital one of six hospital haematology laboratories to be
awarded accreditation by Irish National Accreditation Board. The scope of accreditation of the Laboratory at Louth County Hospital has been extended to include Haematology.

Last year the Irish National Accreditation Board (INAB) presented Accreditation Certificates to the Blood Transfusion Departments of Our Lady
of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, Our Lady’s Hospital, Navan and Louth County Hospital, Dundalk. At its board meeting on the 13th April, 2010 the Irish National Accreditation Board awarded an extension to the scope of
accreditation to the laboratory at Louth County Hospital to include
Haematology. This is now one of six hospital haematology laboratories, in
the country to be awarded accreditation by INAB to date.

The hospital had received registration from the Irish National
Accreditation Board (INAB) and had been granted the International
Organisation for Standardisation Award ISO 15189 Certificate from the Board of INAB for the quality of work and service at the Blood Bank of the
hospital. This involved the establishment of a rigorous Quality Management
System and intensive internal audit programme in the Blood Bank Laboratory, phlebotomy and haemovigilance to achieve the certification. Accreditation to ISO 15189 is mandatory for all Hospital Transfusion Laboratories in Europe since the ratification of new EU Legislation for Blood/Blood Products in 2008. This award has now been extended to include the Haematology Department.

Celebration of Nursing and Midwifery and Presentation of Elaine McCluskey Award at Cavan General Hospital

The celebration of Nursing and Midwifery Day and the presentation of the
Elaine McCluskey Award took place recently in Cavan General Hospital.

The celebration of Nursing and Midwifery Day is held to acknowledge the
contribution of nursing and midwifery to patient care and to share examples
of good practice within Cavan and Monaghan Hospital Group. Nursing and
midwifery staff present posters on quality improvements made within
hospital services and the day also incorporates presentations on key
nursing and midwifery developments in the hospital such as nurse
prescribing, clinical audit projects, oral care in intensive care, smoke
free hospital achievements and practice development updates.

A key part of the day is also the presentation of the Elaine McCluskey
Award by Mrs. McCluskey. The winners this year are Mary Kennedy and Chris O’Connor from the Resuscitation Department for the implementation of a new training programme for advanced cardiac life support. The training
programme uses interactive computer technology to simulate cardiac arrest and assists the medical and nursing staff to learn how to correctly manage cardiac arrests and patient care in this situation. The training on the
computer is then followed up with practical sessions with the staff. This
is the first time this type of training has been delivered in Ireland, and
it has been very positively received by staff. The aim of the training is
to continually improve the standards of care in looking after critically
ill patients. We congratulate the winners on their success and also thank
the family of the late Ms Mc Cluskey for funding and supporting this annual
award in her memory.

CDC launches new Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings Website
In association with the World Health Organisation’s ‘Save Lives: Clean Your
Hands’ annual initiative, the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) has launched
a new ‘Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings’ website.

This site provides healthcare workers and patients with a variety of
resources including guidelines for providers, patient empowerment
materials, the latest technological advances in hand hygiene adherence
measurement, frequently asked questions, and links to promotional and
educational tools published by the World Health Organisation, universities,
and health departments.

HPV Vaccine – Protect Now, for the Future
The Health Service Executive has announced details of the HPV Vaccination
Programme, which began in second level schools during May.

The HPV vaccine will protect girls from developing cervical cancer when
they are adults and will be available free of charge from the HSE.

The HSE confirmed that during 2010, all girls who are now in 1st Year and
all girls who are starting 1st Year in September will be offered HPV
vaccine. Vaccines will in the most part be given to girls in second-level
schools by HSE immunisation teams, with some girls being invited to special
clinics for their vaccine.

The first schools are being visited during May 2010, with the remainder of
schools commencing the programme in September 2010. Parents and schools will be sent information by the HSE in the coming week, letting them know of the programme and when their daughter’s vaccinations will begin. A
detailed information pack and consent form will be sent to parents of those
schools beginning vaccinations.

Parents whose daughter’s vaccinations begin in September will also be sent
a flyer from the HSE, outlining the programme, their daughter’s start date,
and where they can get more information in the meantime.

The following second level schools in Dublin North East will be
administered the HPV Vaccination during May, for 1st Years only. These
schools will be revisited in September to vaccinate girls starting 1st year
in September 2010. All other second level schools will start in September:

  • Dominican College, Griffith Ave, Drumcondra, Dublin 7;
  • St Dominics College, Cabra, Dublin 7;
  • Mercy CollegeCoolock, St Brendans Drive, Coolock;
  • Coláiste Pobail, Rath Cairn, Ráth Cairn, Athboy;
  • St Vincent’s Secondary School, Seatown Place, Dundalk.

Additional information on the HPV vaccine programme is attached at Appendix

  1. Improving Outcomes for Children

A new cross border initiative called ‘Improving Outcomes for Children’ is
attempting to measure the health and well being of children and young
people and to support agencies coming together to plan services in order to
make improvements to children’s lives. The initiative is being supported
by the European Union’s INTERREG IVA funding, secured by Co-operation and Working Together (CAWT), the cross border health services partnership. It will work at two levels. Locally, it will involve the setting up of four pilot sites in the border region, both in the Republic of Ireland and
Northern Ireland, through which local agencies and communities will be
supported to plan services for their children together. It will also support inter-agency committees in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, to use an approach to planning based on improving children’s outcomes to improve all services for children and young people.

To progress the work of CAWT’s ‘Outcomes for Children’ project, a workshop
was held in Monaghan recently, attended by representatives from a range of
agencies including Government departments, health, education, housing,
councils, voluntary and community organisations from both sides of the
border. This event focused on giving practical guidance to policy makers
and those providing public services to work together with local
communities, to plan and deliver services so that better outcomes are
achieved for children and young people.

Delegates at the event had the opportunity to ask questions and discuss how
the outcomes based planning could be adopted within their work areas. The
CAWT ‘Outcomes for Children’ project will continue to support partnerships
and individual agencies who wish to adopt this approach and to complete the establishment of the four pilot sites in the border region.