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New community hospital: Is it happening or not?

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Plans for a new community hospital in Killarney are in the final design stages and a planning permission application was due to be submitted by the end of June.

That is according to a report that the Health Information and Quality Authority published this week on current activities at Killarney Community Hospital.

The report was published on Tuesday this week, the same day the newly elected Killarney Municipal Council met of the first time.

In the course of the meeting Cllr Maura Healy Rae asked: “To ask Kerry County Council and the Department of Health, what is the current update regarding the provision of a new community hospital in Killarney.”

As such, this means that Kerry County Council needs to write to the Minister of Health to get an update on the project.

However, official Kerry County Council planning application paperwork seen by the Killarney Advertiser reveals that there was no planning applications made on behalf of the HSE up to June 28.

“There is a lot of fudging going on,” Cllr. Healy Rae told the Killarney Advertiser after the meeting. “I am calling on the government not to back to down on a promise that we would have a new hospital by 2021 and that other projects would not suffer as a result of the cost overrun on the Children’s Hospital in Dublin.”

The new hospital cannot come soon enough. The report published on Tuesday did not paint a pretty picture of current goings on a the hospital.

Limited availability of single rooms for end of life care; limited privacy and noise and lack of space in multi-occupancy rooms were just some of the issues highlighted in a report published this week on dementia patient care across the hospital’s three sites.

The centre, located on Rock Road is registered to provide long term, respite, palliative and dementia care for 96 residents.

Resident accommodation is spread across three separate units; Fuschia which can accommodate 22 residents, Hawthorn which can accommodate 36 residents, and Heather which can accommodate 38 residents.

Inspectors carried out an unannounced inspection focused on the care of residents  at the hospital in early April this year.

Inspectors met with residents, relatives, the provider representative, the person in charge, the two Assistant Directors Of Nursing, nurses, care staff, activities staff, support staff and numerous other staff members.

The inspectors found that residents’ overall healthcare needs were met and they had very good access to appropriate medical and allied healthcare services. The quality of residents’ lives was generally enhanced by the provision of a choice of interesting things for them to do during the day and an ethos of respect and dignity for residents was evident.

It follows a previous inspection in October last year. Certain objectives from the previous report where not met.

Inspectors found thatthe Health Service Executive (HSE) failed to take all necessary action to improve the privacy and dignity of residents and that a comprehensive review of occupancy levels was not carried out to inform the profile and number of residents who could appropriately be accommodated in the centre.

Long-term residents continued to be accommodated in situations which adversely impacted their daily quality of life, privacy and dignity following a reduction in the number of residents accommodated in the centre, the registered provider had failed to ensure that the space created by the reduced number of residents was utilized in all cases to enhance the quality of life and privacy and dignity of the remaining residents.

Inspectors found gaps in documentation and a care plan for a resident that suffered seizures was not sufficiently detailed to direct care. Gaps were seen in wound care documentation where a section was left blank for staff to retrospectively document wound care given which does not follow with best practice on documentation.

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NPWS survey to find out impact of fires

By Michelle Crean The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has commissioned a comprehensive survey on the impact of fires over the past four decades – in particular Killarney National Park in April. The tender, worth €300,000, and named ‘Study on the Impact of Fires On The Biodiversity of Killarney National Park’, seeks to find […]

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By Michelle Crean

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has commissioned a comprehensive survey on the impact of fires over the past four decades – in particular Killarney National Park in April.

The tender, worth €300,000, and named ‘Study on the Impact of Fires On The Biodiversity of Killarney National Park’, seeks to find out the biological impacts of the fires in the 26,000 acre park.

The fires in April burned from Friday night on April 23 until around 12pm the following Monday when they were finally brought under control.

Parts of the Park were scorched resulting in flora and fauna being wiped out. Some fires came as close as 10 metres to a church and school in the Black Valley area.

Fires raged near Tomies Wood and fire crews from five different districts quenched fires near the properties under threat. A real threat was for The Oak Woods but fire fighters managed to avert danger.

The fire is believed to have begun on the Kenmare Road area escalated by the strong winds.

“The purpose of this tender is to commission a comprehensive survey of the impacts, and the chrono-sequence of fire recovery or otherwise, on lands burned over the past four decades, as well as surveys in unburned areas, in order to assess the biological impacts of the fires, in particular the fire of April 2021, on the biodiversity of Killarney National Park,” an NPWS spokesperson told the Killarney Advertiser.

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Killarney spin will bring comfort to patients

By Michelle Crean Ahead of this year’s ladies only 54321 Challenge a number of spinathons are taking place, including in Killarney town. Sunday, August 15 a group of 10 ladies plan a spinathon day in Killarney ahead of their four day epic adventure from Thursday, August 19 to Sunday 22. This year due to COVID […]

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By Michelle Crean

Ahead of this year’s ladies only 54321 Challenge a number of spinathons are taking place, including in Killarney town.

Sunday, August 15 a group of 10 ladies plan a spinathon day in Killarney ahead of their four day epic adventure from Thursday, August 19 to Sunday 22.

This year due to COVID restrictions the 54321 team will run with two teams of five people, all female – who are raising funds for one single charity – Comfort for Chemo Kerry.

Their four day challenge will include a cycle the Ring of Kerry on day one (Thursday 19), a climb up Carrantuohil on day two (Friday 20), a cycle from Killarney to the foot of Cnoc Na Tobair and then climb Cnoc Na Tobair on day three (Saturday 21) finishing off with a cycle of the Skellig Ring on day four (Sunday 22).

In advance of the ninth annual challenge they will first participate in the spinathons at various locations to help raise much needed funds for this year’s chosen charity.

The first of the spinathons will take place on Saturday, July 31 in Listowel, Killorglin, Dingle, Cahersiveen. On the day volunteers will take to the spinning bikes from 10am to 5pm in different locations around these towns.
This will be followed by Killarney on Sunday, August 15, and Tralee on Saturday, August 28.

When choosing this year’s charity, organisers contacted a past participant and a dear friend, Mairead Dunphy from Glencar who is currently on her own journey with cancer.

“We wanted to show our support to Mairead and knowing that she would like to support those who have supported her on her journey so far, she had already being looking at ideas to raise much needed funds for Comfort for Chemo Kerry,” TJ O’Connor said.

“Please support Comfort for Chemo Kerry by giving what you can.”

For more information about the spinathons go to www.54321challenge.org or the Comfort for Chemo Kerry Facebook page for online donation information.

There’s also a GoFundMe page: ‘Comfort for Chemo Kerry – 54321 Challenge 2021’ which has a €20,000 target set up.

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