Tag Archives: HSE

From top: Covid-19 testing; Professor of Immunology and director of the Human Health Research Institute at Maynooth University Paul Moynagh

This morning.

On RTÉ’s Today with Seán O’Rourke.

Professor of Immunology and director of the Human Health Research Institute at Maynooth University Paul Moynagh told Mr O’Rourke that it’s his understanding that the HSE has purchased a number of Covid-19 antibody testing kits.

It followed UK MPs being told last Wednesday that the British public would be able to carry out Covid-19 antibody tests at home within a matter of days via finger prick tests made available from Amazon and Boots.

Asked about the tests on Wednesday evening, chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan told journalists that the Irish Department of Health, at that point, had not yet identified a serological test that could be used and that Ireland was not yet ready for that step.

Further to this, Professor Moynihan told Mr O’Rourke this morning:

It’s my understanding, I think, the HSE has ordered some of these serological tests in. Initially, I think they should be prioritised for healthcare workers, especially, because what it tells us is is that somebody has been infected but also that somebody has generated antibodies against the virus.

“And then, presumably, you’re immune to the virus and then probably can return to work in a safe manner. I think, over time, serological tests offer us a way to go to mass testing.

“But again they need to be tested, you know you’re probably familiar with the UK, in terms of, the UK is involved in a number of these kits, but I think that’s being tested robustly both in terms of specificity, to make sure that they’re only picking up the coronavirus.

“But also in terms of sensitivity because the antibodies are really only produced maybe as early as seven days, up to 10/12 days.

“So if you’re trying to detect early infection, I think the testing that we’re using currently is the better approach. But for later infections and in terms of especially capturing the level of immunity in the population, the serological testing is beneficial.”


Listen back in full here

Previously: That Would Be A Serological Matter [Updated]


This afternoon.

Pat writes:

Above is a letter from HSE to my elderly mother with ALL the underlying issues that carry risk for Covid19.

They are threatening her with taking away her carer. She has had cancer, heart surgery and has diabetes, arthritis and other issues. With no family nearby.”



Meanwhile, in his address to the nation on St Patrick’s night, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said:

“At a certain point we will advise the elderly and people who have a long-term illness to stay at home for several weeks. We’re putting in place the systems to ensure that if you are one of them, you will have food, supplies and are checked on. We call it cocooning and it will save many lives, particularly the lives of the most vulnerable, the most precious in our society.

“I know it’s going to be very difficult to stay apart from our loved ones. Most grandparents just want to give their grandkids a hug and a kiss around about now. But, as hard as it is, we need to keep our physical distance to stop the virus.”

Previously: “This Is The Calm Before The Storm”

In fairness.

Yesterday: Cometh The Hour

This afternoon.

The HSE writes:

We are asking all healthcare professionals from all disciplines who are not already working in the public health service to register to be on call for Ireland.

We will be creating extra hospital and care beds and will need extra hands to provide the care that’s needed. We need your help to meet the challenge that’s ahead.

Maybe you aren’t a healthcare professional, maybe you’re studying to be one, or maybe you have other skills to offer or just want to volunteer to do your bit if needed.

Hopefully we won’t need to call, and if we do, we may not need every one of you. But knowing you are there if we do will make all the difference.

To get more information about being on call for Ireland, go to our sign-up page. You can read more about the people we need, how this will work, and fill in the enquiry form.

We’ll ask you to give us details of your registration, experience or skills.

Be On Call For Ireland (HSE)

Earlier: Michael Taft: The Political Economy Of The Coronavirus



At a protest against the homeless and housing crisis on Dublin’s O’Connell Street last November


On RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

Dr Geraldine Casey, from the HSE’s Department of Public Health in Limerick, spoke to Dr Gavin Jennings about new research she led into the long-term effect of homelessness on children in Limerick.

The most recent figures from the Department of Housing state there were 3,422 children living in homeless accommodation, as of the final week in December 2019.

Dr Casey said:

“The actual physical space that children are growing up in is affecting their development. So, if you think about a child living in a hotel room they can always have their hand to something at all times. So actually they don’t know if a lot of the children can walk independently or not.

“Or a child doesn’t have the chance to walk independently. So they’re seeing that children are delayed in their physical development because of the homeless situation that they’re in and the environment that they’re placed in.

So last year 278 children in Limerick were housed in hotel rooms and another 250 in homeless hubs so it’s a significant number of children and a significant affect on them.”

“This study didn’t specifically look at that [the difference between family hubs and hotels]. We were just, I suppose this was an initial exercise and scoping, asking people what they thought the issues were. But I suppose a hotel room would be seen to be a worse environment than a homeless hub would be because hubs would provide much more space.

“Some of the hubs are actual apartments and other ones are rooms with shared and communal living.”

Dr Casey added:

“Another issue with the physical space is one service provider described a child having to do their homework on the toilet, sitting inside in the en suite because the younger children were asleep and so the lights needed to be turned off in the main room.

“And really I suppose there was a lot of issues with that, with affecting children’s education. So such is the trauma that children are experiencing they find it difficult to engage with education as well as the difficulties with just actually getting to school in the morning, if you’re placed in  hub which is placed far away from where you live [sic].”

“…we know that when children experience trauma in childhood that this will, can have an affect on their physical and mental health into the future.

“…that affect of the homelessness will last into the future and will impact on children’s health.”

“…there is growing research on adverse childhood experiences and homelessness for a young child is a traumatic experience so it absolutely would have affects. There are things that can mitigate those affects such as having strong relationships and having stability and obviously children who are placed in a homeless environment don’t have that stability.

“So we would have to, you know, look into helping them in the future with reducing those effects.”

Listen back in full here


This week’s Limerick Leader

David Raleigh, in The Irish Times, reports:

An investigation has begun into the death of a man in University Hospital Limerick last month, who was found on the floor next to his trolley.

The middle-aged male patient, who had been kept away from other patients because of an infection risk, was discovered by an emergency department nurse in an isolation cubicle [in mid-December], sources confirmed.

…The hospital did not comment on claims in a report in the Limerick Leader, by a “high-ranking medical source” that the patient suffered a broken neck.

It is not known whether the patient had sustained the alleged injury before or after he was admitted to the emergency department.

Investigation into death of man in Limerick hospital begins (David Raleigh, The Irish Times)

This afternoon.

Free counselling service Problem Gambling tweetz:

In the first four months of this year, the HSE treated 82 people with gambling problems, nationwide.

In the past four months, we have worked with 72 people, in two locations (Waterford & Dublin), with two staff – and a waiting list of 12 people.

There is an urgent need for statutory funding.

Problem Gambling

Aoife Bennett

This afternoon.

A settlement has been reached in a case taken by Aoife Bennett, 26-year-old woman who developed the sleep disorder, narcolepsy, shortly after receiving the Pandemrix swine flu vaccine ten years ago.

Via RTÉ:

It was seen as a test case for up to 100 more and the court had been asked to determine if any or all of the defendants, including the vaccine maker and the State, were liable for damages.

The defendants in the case were GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, the Health Service Executive, the Minister for Health and the Health Products Regulatory Authority, formerly the Irish Medicines Board.

All claims made in the case were denied and the settlement was made without admission of liability.

No orders were made against the HPRA or GSK.

Settlement reached in swine flu vaccine case (RTE)

Pic: RTE

Statement said Tadgh Kennedy on behalf of SOUND (Sufferers Of Unique Narcolepsy Disorder):

“We thank Aoife and the Bennett family for taking the first landmark case,”

However, we are disappointed that the State saw fit to fight the case in court.

Approximately 100 other children and young adults must now await the outcome of their own legal cases, which the State insists must be taken on an individual basis.

The State should ensure that this is not a long drawn-out legal process, causing further hardship.

From the start, the State’s response to what transpired has been painfully slow, and this remains a difficult and protracted process for the families involved.

Sound wants the State to fulfil the duty of care it is morally bound to provide to children and young adults who now have to move through life with Narcolepsy.

“he cost to the State of this action alone can be measured in millions.”