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Inspection finds “gross overcrowding” at University Hospital Kerry




By Michelle Crean

HIQA has issued a damning report on University Hospital Kerry this week saying that it was "substantially behind many other similar-sized hospitals" in relation national standards.

Inspectors visited the Tralee-based hospital on September 20 and 21 last and found it was substantially compliant with two national standards, partially compliant with seven national standards and non-compliant with five national standards - but acknowledged that the hospital management team was in transition at the time of inspection.

They also found that there were significant deficits in governance and management arrangements which impacted on the hospital’s ability to effectively and promptly manage any increase in service demand.

For emergency care in particular, HIQA found gross overcrowding of the emergency department along with significant patient flow issues.

The emergency department had a significant shortage of medical and nursing staff. At the time of inspection, there were no formalised arrangements in place to ensure consultant oversight in the emergency department 24/7. The emergency department also had a significant shortfall on the rostered complement of nursing staff.

HIQA found that there should be more responsive oversight and management of patient-safety incidents and of the implementation of learnings and recommendations from incident reviews. HIQA was also concerned with the apparent delay in fully implementing the learning and recommendations from the look-back of radiology services carried out in 2018, and the potential for patient safety risk associated with this delay.

The systems and processes in place at the hospital to respond to complaints and concerns raised by patients and their families were not as effective as they should be in promptly and effectively resolving complaints and concerns.


HIQA escalated its concerns to regional and national HSE management to ensure that necessary supports are provided to the hospital to address the issues identified.

Kerry Fianna Fáil Councillor, Michael Cahill says the fact that HIQA escalated its concerns to regional and National Health Service Authority, confirms what he has been saying for some time now.

“HIQA confirm that University Hospital Kerry is substantially behind similar sized hospitals in complying with national standards, having found gross overcrowding and a shortage of medical and nursing staff. What staff are there, are overworked and over stretched and a major investment is urgently required to avoid a catastrophe in our local health service,” he said.

“It is a damning report once more on Health Services in Kerry following reports on CAMHS, and action must be taken immediately. Staff are overworked and the treatment, dignity, and confidentiality is compromised. It is totally unacceptable."

In a statement responding to the HIQA report, University Hospital Kerry said that it is "committed as a hospital to protecting the safety and welfare of patients".

"We have closely analysed HIQA’s report findings. Immediately following the inspection, urgent actions were implemented to address key issues identified by HIQA. Additionally, on foot of receiving HIQA’s detailed report, we have submitted to HIQA a comprehensive Quality Improvement Plan with short term (three months), medium term (six months) and longer term (within three years) actions to address the findings from the inspection."



Three Peaks Challenge to raise funds for Down Syndrome Kerry

This year’s Three Peaks Challenge, organised by Killarney Cycling Club will raise funds for Down Syndrome Kerry. The June 15 event,  the only one day cycle event Down Syndrome Kerry […]




This year’s Three Peaks Challenge, organised by Killarney Cycling Club will raise funds for Down Syndrome Kerry.

The June 15 event,  the only one day cycle event Down Syndrome Kerry is associated with this year, promises to be a fabulous day of cycling and fun!.

The 100km route challenges the stronger cyclists and the 75km route gives cyclists the chance to become familiar with Moll’s Gap which is part of the Ring of Kerry route.
The cycle sets out from Killarney, heading out the Cork Road. The 75km route (one peak) turns right at Loo Bridge for Kilgarvan and onto Kenmare, while the 100km route, (three peaks) heads over the county bounds to Ballyvourney, onto The Top of Coom and then Kenmare. Both routes continue on over Moll’s Gap, passing through the picturesque Ladies’ View and back into Killarney, where all participants will be treated to a burger and drink at the finish line.

“We will guarantee plenty of laughs and refreshments along the way, there are two routes available; 100km or 75km, to meet all abilities, covering some of the most beautiful landscapes in Ireland. This is the perfect warm-up for anyone thinking of doing the Ring of Kerry cycle this year or anybody looking for a really well run sportive with great craic compulsory,” Chairperson of Killarney Cycling Club, Kevin Murphy.

All cyclists who register online will be entered into a raffle for some great spot prizes kindly donated by our sponsors, winners collecting their prize at the finish line.

Down Syndrome Kerry’s goal is to help people with down syndrome to make their own futures as bright and independent as possible by providing them with education, support and friendship every step of the way.
Funds raised from this cycle will help Down Syndrome to continue to provide vital services such as speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and job coaching to their members.
As Down Syndrome Kerry do not receive any government funding, they are totally dependent on your support to continue to make these services available to those who need them.
You can register for the cycle which is €40 for Cycling Ireland members, €20 for accompanied under 16’s on event master:-

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BAR 1661 is teaming up with Pig’s Lane for a night of cocktail mastery

BAR 1661, the winners of Ireland’s Bar of the Year 2022, are taking up temporary residency in Killarney’s first underground hotspot, Pig’s Lane for one night only on May 21. […]




BAR 1661, the winners of Ireland’s Bar of the Year 2022, are taking up temporary residency in Killarney’s first underground hotspot, Pig’s Lane for one night only on May 21.

The dynamic team at Dublin’s BAR 1661, who have recently taken their talents to venues in Sweden, London, and the famous Dead Rabbit Bar in New York, are now hitting the road to Killarney for an epic takeover event.

Staunchly Irish and fiercely independent, BAR 1661 have two goals in mind; to introduce the world to Poitín and lift Irish cocktail culture to fresh heights.
Headed up by their founder Dave Mulligan, the Dublin team will transform Pig’s Lane on College Street for one night only. Since opening just a few months ago, Pig’s Lane has been raising the bar in Kerry with its cocktails, whiskey and wine offering. Kicking off at 6pm, experience a curated selection of Poitín-infused cocktails, featuring a bespoke rendition of BAR 1661’s drinks menu.

The crew will also serve up their unique take on the classic Irish Coffee with their Belfast Coffee, steeped with cold brew coffee, top-quality Irish Poitín, and rich demerara syrup. Guests will be able to chat with the team, get some insider knowledge on how to elevate their own cocktail-making skills, as well as learn insider tips on how to blend flavours to satisfy their own palette.

Two-time World Championship Mixologist and Drinks Development Manager for the O’Donoghue Ring Collection and Pig’s Lane, Ariel Sanecki said of the upcoming takeover: 

“We are very excited to welcome one of Ireland’s leading bars, BAR 1661, for an exclusive collaboration with us here at Pig’s Lane. This takeover is a great opportunity for people to meet with innovative mixologists who will be crafting bespoke creations right in front of them! We look forward to welcoming guests on the night, to what promises to be an epic event, featuring premium drink producers and unforgettable flavours.”

Before the takeover starts, drinks aficionados can join Dave for an intimate Poitín Masterclass. Attendees are invited to explore the diverse landscape of Poitín, accompanied by fascinating insights into its vibrant history and contemporary revival.


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