We are HEFSE

We represent the children, adults, citizens of this region, of this republic:

  • We are taxpayers and contributors to the national exchequer.
  • We demand equal rights to healthcare access as is afforded to every other region of this country.
  • We are standing up for our rights to equal access to basic healthcare, which is afforded to the rest of the country.

Why the people of the southeast are being put at risk

The Cardiac Cath Lab at University Hospital Waterford (UHW) serves over 500,000 people across the southeast but only operates Monday – Friday, 9 – 5pm. All other regions in the country have 24/7 cardiac cover and Cath Lab access. Patients in the southeast who suffer heart attacks after 5pm cannot access a Cath Lab in UHW or anywhere else within the 90 minute recommended window.

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Lab Distribution in Ireland

The Waterford Lab is the only 5 day service – all other centres have 24/7 cardiac cover. Click on the locations below to see cover for each area.

Derry/Tyrone
2 NHS
Galway
2 Public
1 (+1) Private
Clare/Limerick
2 Public
Armagh
2 NHS
Dublin
9 Public
11 Private
Cork
4 Public
2 Private
Antrim
9 NHS
Kerry
1 Private
South East
1 Public
only 9-5
Mon-Fri

HSFSE – ‘Health Equality for the South East’ Needs Help

We are asking you to support:

  • Our right to receive equitable healthcare.
  • Our right to receive full regional health services at UHW.
  • Our right to timely treatment for citizens suffering a heart attack in the southeast.
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Stay Connected

Statement on the ongoing activities of HEFSE and Hand On Heart campaign. -----------------------------------------------------The situation remains that the Department of Health continues to move against the retention of Southeast Emergency Cardiac Services at UHW and a pending review (July / August) this year is poised to formally mandate the cessation of emergency interventional cardiology in the South East. Reports suggest Dept Health has directed senior civil servants to look at ‘all means’ to cater to the 170,000 patients which the Herity report identified as being outside of 90 minute cardiac transfer time. This will most likely be addressed by announcement of some new amalgam of helicopter cover and and/or prioritisation of ambulance cover etc. Regardless of how it is achieved it will seek to address regional cardiac transfer times and in so doing imply risk in supporting and continuing the existing south east 5 day service. --------------------------------------------------------------
The senior consultants in the region will be unable to object to this pathway on clinical grounds as Dept will ensure endorsement from senior medical review groups who along with HSE senior management will be on notice to present this as a significantly positive regional patient development. Once announced and scheduled the loss of emergency intervention in the Waterford Cath Lab will herald the loss of the interventional cardiology team based in Waterford - some have indicated already they will move to other hospitals/activity in order to pursue their careers.--------------------------------------

The loss of these specialists and the associated high level cardiology service will undermine other existing specialities such as vascular and trauma surgery and this will lead to the downgrading of UHW as a Regional Trauma Centre within a relatively short period. With the downgrading of services will come reduction in resources and budgeting and increased difficulties in recruiting new senior clinical leads –many will not wish to come to a hospital which is suffering service reduction as this has major implications for their work environment and career development. Without high level clinical leads the amount and quality of student training will suffer and this will further add to the spiral of reduced complex care. It will only be a matter of time before acute services impacted will extend to oncology (cancer). The Dept of Health has long intimated its desire to see the 8 national cancer centres reduced to 5 ! The South East Regional hospital in Waterford can in the future look forward to lots of temporary clinicians from overseas working in the local hospital and much of the complex work presently being undertaken in UHW will be required to transit to centres in Dublin or Cork with all attendant implications to patients and families. -----------------------------------------------------------------

This is the landscape that is now unfolding before our eyes - our regional lack of awareness as to the direction of travel of this unfolding health policy will not protect us in any way from its implications for our future care and that of our loved ones! In addition the economic impacts of downgrading regional hospital services cannot be understated into the future. This downgrading crisis of regional high-level clinical care will likely extend to the other smaller hospitals in the region such as Wexford, Kilkenny and South Tipperary over time. These hospitals are not in a position to capitalise on services leaving UHW and in fact the opposite will be the case - more patients requiring more high level care will force additional capital spend in the existing category 4 centres in Dublin and Cork and this in turn will drive more medical referral there. Think Campus enhancement St James, CUH and Mater Hospital presently ongoing.----------------------------------------------------------

This is not happenstance - the Department of Health have been actively seeking the centralisation of high level clinical services in the large population centres in the country for some time - It is easiest achieved in the South East where political consensus and influence are weak. What the policy drive does not account for is the impact on patients and families forced to contend with health provision far from where they live and work. It does not guarantee either a better standard of care or any cost efficiency. It does not increase access to services for the most disadvantaged in society but rather disadvantages all by scaling inefficiency and ultimately reducing care choice. The South East will be the region most affected in this way as other regions in the country continue to receive increased service spending for acute care. ----------------------------------

The reality now for those of us living in the South East is that without political intervention of a very high order we can look forward very soon to the loss of emergency cardiac intervention at UHW before the end of this year – that means losing our existing service as well as any chance of expanding it! As a consequence our claim to having level 4 regional clinical services in the South East into the future will also disappear and the impact to our own healthcare and that of our family members will come into stark view, unfortunately!
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Any support or activity that people would like to offer the present cardiac campaign it will have to come within a number of weeks, otherwise it will have no obvious purpose other than to demonstrate the region could not organise when it mattered!----------------------------------------------------

HEFSE is still working behind the scenes to try and influence the situation where possible. Without a regional alignment and impetus on the matter the upcoming review in this regions cardiac and by extension acute healthcare policy will be negatively felt for many years to come. Any help or action or smart thinking that people believe can propel the issue forward please don't hesitate to get in touch - but if offering ideas please also offer some means or assistance to execute them. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------Statement ends - contact with moderators can be made by personally messaging page
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Irish Times reports money burning a hole in the ministers pocket with 112 million spent to date on Childrens Hospital and not a brick laid yet! It's enough to give one heartburn but seemingly we don't suffer that along with any other heart disease in the South East? What other explanation can there be for removing the existing emergency cardiac service in the region? ... See MoreSee Less

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Wexford hurlers and People newspaper hit the mark for call for 24/7. Well done Davy & Co showing leadership where it matters. Time for more off the field of play! ... See MoreSee Less

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Catheterisation Labs (cath labs) are facilities in which these services are delivered

  • Diagnostic coronary angiograms
  • Percutaneous coronary interventions (stents)
  • Pacemaker implants
  • Defibrillator implants
  • Loop Recorder & Pacemaker Interrogation
  • Balloon valvuloplasty for narrowed heart valves
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