Health service updates and information
‘Dementia: Understand Together’ campaign’s new symbol representing dementia inclusive communities
The HSE led Dementia: Understand Together campaign’s dementia inclusive community symbol sends an important message that you are supporting people with dementia and working towards becoming more inclusive.
The HSE and its partners are calling for more people to get involved and to join the many people and businesses across Ireland who are already taking action. People and organisations can learn more about the campaign and sign up to get involved at www.understandtogether.ie/get-involved
Parents urged to ensure children are protected against measles prior to Easter travel as cases on rise worldwide
The HSE is urging parents to make sure children are up to date with their MMR vaccines before travelling outside of Ireland during the Easter break. The MMR vaccine protects against measles outbreaks which are being reported around the world.
Already in 2023, measles outbreaks have been reported in a number of countries like the United States, South Africa, Nepal and Austria and the World Health Organization (WHO) recently warned about the risk of measles in children as a result of low MMR vaccine following the pandemic, says Dr Suzanne Cotter, Specialist in Public Health Medicine, HSE-Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC).
Information about the MMR vaccine is available on the National Immunisation Office website here.
Further information on measles and the symptoms to look out for are available on the HSE website here.
Avoid sick and dead birds when out and about over Easter
As the weather gets warmer and people begin to spend more time outdoors in the coming weeks, the HSE is reminding people not to handle or touch sick or dead wild birds to protect themselves from bird flu.
Anyone who comes across dead or sick wild birds can notify the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine through the Avian Check App or call the Avian Influenza Helpline Number (076) 1064403 or 1850 2000456 (outside of normal office hours).
You can find HSE information on bird flu here.
Self-help for common mental health difficulties
Are you or a loved one experiencing ongoing stress, anxiety, low mood or sleep difficulties? These are common mental health difficulties that we often accept as part of daily living. Just not feeling yourself? Take some time to make the connection with your mental health and check out our self-help options on yourmentalhealth.ie
During April, the HSE is continuing a national campaign on radio, digital audio, social media and video on display. We would appreciate your support in sharing our resources and promoting www.yourmentalhealth.ie among your networks. Follow us on facebook.com/hseyourmentalhealth and Twitter: @hse_ymh #yourmentalhealth
New HSE free hepatitis C home test now available
Thousands of people in Ireland are living with hepatitis C and don’t know it.
The free Hepatitis C home test allows adults to order a free hepatitis C test online and carry out the finger prick test at home.
The test is to detect hepatitis C in people with no symptoms who may be at risk of hepatitis C infection.
Users complete the tests at home and post the sample to the laboratory in a pre-paid envelope provided. Results are issued by text or phone. Those who require follow on treatment will be referred to participating clinics or hospitals.
Treatment for Hepatitis C is free, tablets are effective and well-tolerated, with over 95% of people cured in as little as 8 to 12 weeks. The new home testing service could help people unknowingly living with Hepatitis C to get a life-saving diagnosis and treatment sooner.
Order your free hepatitis C test today on www.hse.ie/hepc
Bowel Cancer Awareness
April is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month. This year BowelScreen, Ireland’s national bowel cancer screening programme, is reminding people aged 60 to 69 to complete the simple at-home test that could save their life. Bowel screening looks for signs of changes in the bowel that could lead to cancer, before symptoms start. If bowel cancer is found early, it’s easier to treat and there’s a better chance of recovery.
To make sure you’re on the BowelScreen register call 1800 45 45 55 or visit www.bowelscreen.ie.
International Roma Day
To mark International Roma Day, the HSE National Social Inclusion Office would like to welcome you to the launch of the new HSE website www.hse.ie/roma and booklet, Roma Daja – supporting Roma women during and after pregnancy. The event will take place on 19th April at 10.30am in the Lighthouse Cinema, Dublin, and launched by Minister of State, Hildegarde Naughton. Resources are available in English, Romanian, Czech and Slovak.
You can register to attend here.
HSE resources to assist Roma and other migrants to access the health service
The HSE has resources to assist Roma and other migrants to access the health service. You can find the resources and more information at www.hse.ie/translated-health-info and www.hse.ie/eng/services/mhml/
Wexford General Hospital update
The Paediatric Assessment Unit (PAU) is open from 8am to 10pm, daily, for children under the age of 16.
Children can access the PAU with a referral letter from their GP. Alternatively, a concerned parent can ring the service directly to schedule an appointment, 0861041628
The PAU will see patients with the following concerns:
- Sprains, strains and broken bones
- Minor burns and scalds
- Small cuts and injuries
- Mild asthma
- Sore Throat
- Vomiting & Diarrhoea
This service – along with the AMAU and MIU – is a temporary measure until the hospital’s ED becomes fully functional again.
The ED in WGH is not open while these new services exist. This means that if you feel your treatment is an emergency, please attend your closest alternative ED.
For more information, please visit hse.ie/WexfordHospital
Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 – Guidance for Healthcare Workers e-learning programme
There is an e-learning programme available online on HSELand. You can find more information, register and login here.
Steps to Health challenge 2023 – registration still open
The Steps to Health encourages staff to get out walking and counting their daily steps to improve their physical and mental health. Registration is now open. The challenge will take place from May 8th – June 11th 2023 so register your team now on hse.ie/stepschallenge.
Want to participate?
- Form a team of between 2 and 10 participants
- Choose a team co-ordinator and a team name
- Your team co-ordinator can register your team and order step counters if you need them, up until 19 April.
Visit hse.ie/stepschallenge for more information.
Men and Mental Health
HSE Health and Wellbeing, along with their men’s health partners, are hosting a webinar on Men and Mental Health on 25th April at 12noon. Join them for an engaging webinar with great guests discussing how men can improve their mental health. With former international athlete and mental health advocate, David Gillick, HSE Senior Psychologist, Mark Smyth and Keith Kelly mental health advocate and founder of Jumpers for Goalposts as well as a very varied panel, this webinar is sure to have something for everyone. You can find more information and register here.
HSE Talking Health and Wellbeing Podcast
Listen to the latest episode of the HSE Talking Health & Wellbeing Podcast to hear a heart-warming conversation about the positive impact singing in workplace choirs in the health service has on wellbeing. Listen and follow wherever you get your Podcasts or on the HSE Health and Wellbeing YouTube channel.
COVID-19 Community Testing Centres and PCR Self-Referral Portal have closed
The Public Health advice for COVID-19 has been updated, and COVID-19 testing is no longer recommended for the vast majority of people.
In line with this new advice, community testing centres across the country and the self-referral portal for ordering PCR tests are no longer required, and both closed on 30th March 2023.
Both PCR and antigen testing will continue to be used by doctors in hospitals and General Practice settings for the purpose of diagnosing and deciding on the provision of treatment for COVID-19 to a patient.
Public Health teams may also decide that COVID-19 testing is required in the management of an outbreak in a high-risk setting where they believe that further transmission is likely and could have serious impact, based on Public Health Risk Assessment.
You can find more information on the HSE website.
COVID-19 vaccination for children aged 6 months to 4 years
COVID-19 vaccination is available to children aged 6 months and older to give them protection against serious COVID-19 illness.
The HSE has provided information on our website here to help parents make an informed decision.
You can find out how to book your child’s COVID-19 vaccine appointment here.
Get your COVID-19 booster vaccine
It’s important that all eligible people avail of the COVID-19 booster to protect themselves and those around them from serious COVID-19 illness.
All people in the 18-49 years age group are eligible for their second COVID-19 booster, provided it is six months since their last vaccine or since they had a COVID-19 infection.
The HSE strongly urges people who have not yet received a COVID-19 booster vaccine to check their vaccine status and to do so as soon as possible. You can do this by contacting HSELive on 1800 700 700.
Booster COVID-19 vaccines are available at Community Vaccination Centres, participating GPs and pharmacies and information on getting your booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is available here.
Advice for people at higher risk from COVID-19
COVID-19 vaccine resources
The HSE produces and regularly updates resources for the COVID-19 vaccine. You can visit the COVID-19 vaccine materials page for the latest leaflets and booklets including information on boosters and vaccines for children.
COVID-19 information in other languages
Visit hse.ie/translations for a range of COVID-19 vaccine information videos and resources that have been produced in other languages, including information on COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy.
Information videos on COVID-19 vaccination for parents of children aged 5-11 are available here.
Public Health resources
Health service information for Ukrainian nationals
- Updated mental health supports information is here
- Disability services information is here
- Healthcare services information is here
- COVID-19 information is here
- COVID-19 vaccination video, Dr Oksana Kozdoba, a Pediatrician from Ukraine, shares information about the vaccination programme in Ireland. She covers the vaccines offered in Ireland to protect babies, school children and adults.
For updated information and advice on Coronavirus, please go to:
https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/covid19/ and https://www.hpsc.ie/a-z/respiratory/coronavirus/novelcoronavirus/. Clinical and professional guidance relating to COVID-19 is available on www.hpsc.ie where you’ll find up to date guidance for healthcare settings and non-clinical settings.
Please check here for partner resources for COVID-19.
You can find translated resources here.
You can find the COVID-19 A-Z information here from the HSE’s Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC).
You can view the latest information on how Ireland is responding to cases of COVID-19 here.
Ireland’s COVID-19 Data Hub is available here.
If your organisation has any requests in relation to public health information materials, please reply directly to this email to let us know.
Kahlil & Katie
COVID-19 Stakeholder Engagement, HSE Communications