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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."

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Killarney to feature on TG4’s Country Music show

By Sean Moriarty A song about Killarney – once made famous by local Country Music hero Dermot Moriarty – will feature on TG4 tomorrow night (Tuesday). The second series of […]




By Sean Moriarty

A song about Killarney – once made famous by local Country Music hero Dermot Moriarty – will feature on TG4 tomorrow night (Tuesday).

The second series of the Irish channel’s County Music show ‘Viva Ceol Tire’, which highlights emerging Country Music talent in Ireland, airs every Tuesday night at 9.30pm.

The next programme will feature Donegal singer David James’ version of ‘Oh Killarney’.

The programme was filmed entirely on location in Killarney including Torc Waterfall, Ladies View Moll’s Gap and Kate Kearney’s Cottage.

“The song was written by Dennis Allen. However, it was a hit for Dermot Moriarty in the 1980s. The first time I heard it I loved it and I was thrilled with the reaction my version has got,” James, who is from the small village of Killean in Donegal, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“It’s pretty rural but I love it. I’ll be in Country Music 10 years this May. My first gig was in the local GAA hall for my aunt’s 50th birthday. I was 14 and I’ve been at it ever since.”



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Five questions to ask yourself before buying a stock

By Michael O’Connor, When it comes to investing, nothing is certain. There are no perfect stocks to buy because there’s no way of predicting the future with 100% accuracy. […]




By Michael O’Connor,

When it comes to investing, nothing is certain.

There are no perfect stocks to buy because there’s no way of predicting the future with 100% accuracy.

The truth is, investing is hard, and building a portfolio of top stocks that beat the market is something that even financial professionals have trouble doing consistently.

For most people, investing in index funds is the perfect hands-off approach, providing broad exposure to the stock market at a very low fee. Even my own personal portfolio is made up of roughly 70% ETFs despite the fact I invest in the market for a living.

But I believe some stock picking is a good strategy for many hands-on people.

Taking a small portion of your overall portfolio and diligently selecting a small number of companies to invest in gives you an opportunity to learn about the investing process and fully understand the businesses you are investing in, which helps to build conviction in your positions.

From a psychological standpoint “collector’s instinct” kicks in, enabling people to participate and invest more money over time.

Lastly, for Irish investors, there are tax benefits to consider. If you invest in individual stocks, you are taxed at the CGT rate of 33%, and the first €1,270 of your gains are exempt from CGT each year. When investing in index funds or ETFs, you are taxed at the exit tax rate of 41% with no annual exemption.

For those interested in picking individual stocks, here are five questions you should ask yourself before investing in any company.

Do I understand the business?

Too many people invest in businesses they don’t understand because it ‘sounds good’. If you have no idea how the company works, you won’t have the conviction needed to hold onto the stock when an inevitable downturn comes.

Can the balance sheet withstand severe, temporary adversity?

This seems obvious, but so many people invest in companies without understanding how much money a company holds and who they owe money to. Economic cycles are guaranteed. You must ensure that the company has enough cash-on-hand to avoid becoming obsolete when activity slows.

Will the company benefit from long-term trends?

Make sure the company will remain relevant into the future. If the stock is cheap now, it may be cheap for a reason.

Is the company enjoying profitable growth?

Not growth at all costs, but a combination of sustainable growth and value. All this information can be found online at sites like

What are the risk factors?

Is the company trying something new and untested? If yes, who are its competitors and how successful are they? If other players are more established, this company may have a tough time breaking into the market.


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