The theme of this year's 65 Roses National Awareness Week and conference is 'Better Together'. It is only by working together that we can improve CF services in Ireland. In recent weeks CFI has met with the senior management teams in St Vincent's University Hospital and University Hospital Limerick (in partnership with TLC4CF). We have further forthcoming meetings with Waterford Regional Hospital and the Mater University Hospital on a wide range of CF-related issues. On 13th March a CFI delegation met with Minister James Reilly TD to highlight continuing challenges in CF facilities in Ireland, including in particular in Beaumont Hospital where 13 inpatient rooms are badly needed for adult patients with CF.
Cystic Fibrosis Ireland (CFI) will be meeting with senior management in Cork University Hospital (CUH) and the HSE concerning specialised CF nurse cover in the paediatric unit of CUH.
The gap in nursing cover reveals a systemic problem that has been building in Cork and in many other CF specialist centres and which has been previously highlighted by CFI. Because of government health policy across the country, key healthcare staff on sick and maternity leave are not being replaced. When this policy combines with increasing patient numbers, as is the case in Cork, there is a real danger that there will be gaps in services at critical times.
It's great to see all the work continue around the country with good progress in the new build CF facilities in Drogheda and MWRH Limerick and work to commence in the next few months in Castlebar, Cavan, Waterford and Galway.
We will also be keeping up the pressure (and fundraising) for the CF 'Beds for Beaumont'. It's important to note the building progress in both the large specialised CF Centres and the smaller regional centres.
Since our last issue, we had one of our best and most well-attended national conferences/AGMs in April with over 220 participants. There was very positive feedback on the presentations and the workshops. We were very proud to present awards to Anne O'Dwyer, Bridie Maguire, Professor Muiris X FitzGerald, and with a special media award to Joe Duffy from RT. The hotel, Killashee House Hotel, was a great hit with everyone – it was one of the best venues we have had for an annual conference.