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Pieta confirms all therapy centres will remain open following financial review

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There will be no downgrading of Pieta centres, as the charity announced that it will be employing additional therapists and redeploying admin staff who had been at risk of redundancy.

Pieta, Ireland’s national suicide and self-harm prevention charity, has confirmed that its 15 centres plus four outreach centres will not be downgraded or closed following an internal financial and operational review.

Pieta moved its delivery of therapy for those experiencing suicidal ideation, self-harm and those bereaved by suicide to over the phone in March following COVID-19 restrictions, and also continues to support those in immediate crisis through the 24/7 crisis helpline.

The postponement, due to COVID-19, of Pieta’s flagship fundraiser Darkness into Light, proudly supported by Electric Ireland, left the charity with a very significant funding gap. Pieta relies on the public for 80 percent of its funding to ensure it can provide its national mental health service free of charge. The people of Ireland responded to the challenging financial situation with generous support for the ‘Sunrise’ appeal which, along with a number of other initiatives, raised an incredible €6 million and significant awareness for Pieta.

These funds, together with the Government wage subsidy scheme, increased support from the HSE and a 30 percent pay cut to staff from April to June of this year, means that Pieta is in an improved financial position.

Key points arising from the review include that all 15 Pieta centres, plus its four outreach centres, are to remain open. There will be no downgrading of any centres. Centre hours will be restored back up to January 2020 levels. From next month, Pieta will engage in a phased reopening of centres for staff and will resume face-to-face counselling services from September, in accordance with Government guidelines post-COVID, 14 additional ‘full-time equivalent’ therapists will be employed, eight will support face-to-face counselling and six will join the helpline team to meet the increased demand, 10 full-time equivalent Centre Manager roles and 33 Clinical Support roles, that were identified at risk of redundancy in April 2020, will now be redeployed. From July 1, pay for all staff will be restored to pre-COVID levels, while the HSE has agreed to provide Pieta with additional funding of €114,608 per month, commencing in July. This funding must be spent on supporting the provision of 300 hours per week of therapy to high risk clients. Pieta will also be engaging with Government and the HSE on a sustainable funding model for the delivery of services.

“I want to express my gratitude to the Pieta team and to our supporters across the country for their help, support and patience over recent weeks," speaking about the Financial Review, Pieta CEO, Elaine Austin, said.

"Due to the overwhelming generosity and kindness of the people of Ireland, and increased support from the HSE and our corporate partnerships, Pieta is now in a more secure financial position, and we can confirm that our vital services will continue to be delivered across all of our Centres nationwide. The support has been unparalleled and very humbling. We know people need our service now more than ever in these times of crisis, and it is important that people know that we are here and they are not alone.”

For more information or to donate, please visit www.pieta.ie.

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New Patient Advocacy Service offering support to Kerry people

A newly established Patient Advocacy Service is offering support to people in the Kerry area who want to make a complaint about the care they have received in a public hospital. The service provides free, independent and confidential information and support to people making a formal complaint about their care in a Health Service Executive […]

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A newly established Patient Advocacy Service is offering support to people in the Kerry area who want to make a complaint about the care they have received in a public hospital.

The service provides free, independent and confidential information and support to people making a formal complaint about their care in a Health Service Executive (HSE) funded public acute hospital.

People in the Kerry area looking for support can contact the Patient Advocacy Service confidential helpline on 0818 293003 to speak to a trained advocate who will help them to get information on the HSE’s complaints investigation process, called ‘Your Service, Your Say’.

The professionally trained independent advocate will support and empower the person making the complaint, with the aim of highlighting their views and concerns.

The advocate will explain to the person how to write a formal complaint and what to include in it. They will also help the person prepare for meetings with the HSE about their complaint, and they will help the person explore their options following a response from the HSE to their complaint.

“Until now, people in Kerry and across Ireland who experienced difficulties in the Irish health service often felt there was nowhere for them to turn,” Service Manager for the Patient Advocacy Service, Claire Lehane, said.

GUIDANCE

“The newly established Patient Advocacy Service offers patients the guidance and information they need to make a complaint when they are unhappy with the care they receive. It is free, independent and run by our professionally trained patient advocates who will use their compassion and knowledge to guide people through the HSE complaints process.”

The helpline is open Monday to Friday from 10am until 4pm, including lunchtimes. You can also email info@patientadvocacyservice.ie or for more information see patientadvocacyservice.ie.

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New Kerry Dublin flight takes off

By Sean Moriarty The Kerry-Dublin air route returned to the skies for the first time in nearly seven weeks today (Wednesday). Budget airline Ryanair has taken over the route following the collapse of Stobart Air on June 12. At around 1pm, one of Ryanair’s Boeing 737-800 aircraft landed at the airport after completing its 50 minute […]

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By Sean Moriarty

The Kerry-Dublin air route returned to the skies for the first time in nearly seven weeks today (Wednesday).

Budget airline Ryanair has taken over the route following the collapse of Stobart Air on June 12.

At around 1pm, one of Ryanair’s Boeing 737-800 aircraft landed at the airport after completing its 50 minute journey for Dublin.

Less than 25 minutes later it was back in the sky again for its return journey to the capital.

The flight will operate once a day until September 1 when the frequency will increase to twice daily.

“We are happy to report a positive start to the service which has been absent since early June,” the airport’s CEO John Mulhern told the Killarney Advertiser. “Ryanair intends to operate the route once a day until the end of August and has committed to restoring a twice-daily service from September.”

The route is operated on a commercial basis by Ryanair. Since 2011, Aer Lingus, through its subsidiary Aer Lingus Regional or its partners Aer Arran and Stobart Air operated the flight as a Government support Public Service Obligation (PSO). Previously, between 2008 and 2011 Ryanair operated the route on a commercial basis but withdrew at short notice as it could not make it profitable.

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