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Conway-Walsh blasts HSE’s ‘eternal triangle of confusion’



Sinn Féin TD says vaccine information vacuum causing huge stress

Michael Gallagher

Elderly and vulnerable people are being left confused and frightened by the roll-out of vaccines to the housebound across Mayo, according to Deputy Rose Conway-Walsh.
The National Ambulance Service (NAS) has been tasked with vaccinating large numbers of individuals aged 70 and over who are unable to attend GP’s surgeries. However, the system is causing huge levels of stress, says the Sinn Féin TD.
“I’m just off the phone to the family of a 95-year-old woman who is waiting patiently for the vaccine, and I have numerous other families and individuals at their wits end, but they cannot get any information. The HSE has created an eternal triangle of confusion for those trying to get notice of when they might be on the list.
“The patient has no information, the GP has no information and if there’s a consultant involved in the patient’s care, they have no information either. As usual, GPs have been given a huge amount of responsibility with a very small amount of communication. It would serve people better if there was less PR from the HSE and more communication to the people who really matter – those awaiting life-saving vaccinations,” she told The Mayo News.
Deputy Conway-Walsh has posed a number of questions to the HSE, demanding to know who is coordinating the Mayo service, where it is being run from, and who the public should go to for information.
The HSE replied by stating the programme had commenced and all eligible patients would be vaccinated in the coming weeks. It also added that any queries should be made to the patient’s GP, while saying that the roll-out was progressing satisfactorily:
“More than 2,200 people nationally have been referred for a home vaccination by their GP and more than 1,000 doses have been administered. Individuals who have been registered for home vaccination will be contacted by the National Ambulance Service to schedule an appointment to administer the vaccine.”

Untold stress
However, the system is causing untold stress in Mayo, according to Deputy Conway-Walsh.
“All I want is for the people of Mayo who are eligible for vaccinations to be given dates in an appropriate manner, but this isn’t happening.
“They hear all the adverts on radio and television about the success of the roll-out yet they’re being left in limbo. I don’t want the people of Mayo left behind, but that’s what seems to be happening on all fronts in this pandemic.
“There have been numerous walk-in test-centres being rolled out in the east over the past few weeks but when I asked for one to be set up in Belmullet when numbers were going through the roof nothing happened. It’s the same with the home vaccinations. Mayo is an after-thought again.”