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Taoiseach says plan being developed to ease current restrictions

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Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has this evening (Thursday) said that the lifting of current restrictions will be “slow and gradual" and will be "done in a stepwise, tiered manner”.

Speaking in the Dáil, he said that people want to know when things are going to go back to a new normal.

“I know the lockdown is difficult and people are feeling frustrated, cooped up, even trapped, but we must keep doing what we are doing because it is working. We owe it to those who are fighting the virus every day and we owe it to the memory of those who have been lost. As a country, we owe it to each other.

“I can inform the Dáil that a plan is being developed to ease the lockdown, a roadmap to reopen Ireland, a roadmap to what will be a new normal. Unfortunately for those who would like an immediate return to a pre-COVID-19 world, the easement of the current restrictions will be slow and gradual and will be done in a stepwise, tiered manner. It will require continuous effort to suppress and control the virus. Therefore, the lifting of restrictions will not necessarily mirror the manner in which they were escalated.”

Public health and safety and the healthcare capacity will continue to be the foundation for decision making, he explained.

“Our five criteria are as follows: the progress of the disease, healthcare capacity and resilience, testing and contact tracing capacity, the ability to shield and care for at-risk groups and the risk of secondary morbidity and mortality due to the restrictions themselves.

As we manage the gradual lifting of restrictions, we will prioritise public health advice and give careful consideration on how best to mitigate and manage the economic and other health and social impacts.”

Any changes to the restrictions will be made every two to four weeks because the Government needs to leave a period between changes to assess accurately their impact.

“We will intervene earlier if things appear to be going off track. Restrictions may have to be reintroduced if it looks as if the virus is going to surge back. We expect to have this plan completed tomorrow (Friday) for approval by Cabinet.”

 

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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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