HSE forum discusses NE services

An Irish ambulance
CLARIFICATION about plans to change the ambulance service operating in Co Louth was sought at the Regional Health Forum - Dublin and North East held on May 27.

CLARIFICATION about plans to change the ambulance service operating in Co Louth was sought at the Regional Health Forum - Dublin and North East held on May 27.

Councillor Michael O’Dowd asked the Health Service Executive (HSE) to confirm that no changes in the operation of the Ambulance Service will take place until replacement services are in place.

“Specifically, that no ambulance will be taken off night cover in Drogheda until a replacement is in place until May and the Intermediate Care Ambulance is operational,” said Cllr O’Dowd.

The HSE responded: “The National Ambulance Service continuously reviews and monitors the service delivery models that are in operation and if required make adjustments if required.

“I can confirm that we have now in place a Rapid Response Vehicle operating within the Louth Area staffed by Advanced Paramedics.”

Cllr O’ Dowd followed with a question relating to the current situation regarding the provision of Primary Care facilities in Drogheda.

The HSE stated that it is currently progressing the provision of two Primary Care Units in Drogheda, on either side of the river. Both of these are being progressed through the Operational Lease mechanism.

In respect of Drogheda North, a preferred provider has been identified, with a proposed location at the Boyne Shopping Centre. Legal agreements are currently being finalised and it is hoped that fit-out works will commence early in 2014 with completion by the end of the same year.

In the case of Drogheda South an Agreement for Lease was executed with the preferred provider some time ago. However, following a protracted planning appeal to An Bord Pleanala, a decision was issued only recently which has given rise to a number of issues. The HSE said that it is considering the implications of this and how best to proceed.

Meanwhile, the HSE Dublin North East is inviting all interested members of the public to attend a free six week course in Dundalk on managing stress.

This practical course, which has already been successfully delivered to almost 300 people from the Drogheda area, begins on Wednesday, June 5.

The course will run for six consecutive Wednesday mornings from 11am to 1pm in Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) Dublin Road, Dundalk.

The Stress Control programme is aimed at anyone who is stressed or anyone who knows someone who is stressed. The course will be delivered by HSE clinical psychologists, Geraldine O’Riordan, Dr Rachael McGlinchey and Dr Alberto Blanco.

According to the organisers, it is often hard to identify the cause of stress in our lives and even harder to tackle it, however, it is manageable.

This practical course will assist participants to identify the symptoms of stress, and to manage its effects.

The course format will comprise of six sessions. Each session consists of a talk on different aspects of stress. Visit www.hse.ie for more details.