Concept: Irish language
There has been extensive outsourcing of hospital cleaning services in the NHS in England, in part because of the potential to reduce costs. Yet some argue that this leads to lower hygiene standards and more infections, such as MRSA and, perhaps because of this, the Scottish, Welsh, and Northern Irish health services have rejected outsourcing. This study evaluates whether contracting out cleaning services in English acute hospital Trusts (legal authorities that run one or more hospitals) is associated with risks of hospital-borne MRSA infection and lower economic costs. By linking data on MRSA incidence per 100,000 hospital bed-days with surveys of cleanliness among patient and staff in 126 English acute hospital Trusts during 2010-2014, we find that outsourcing cleaning services was associated with greater incidence of MRSA, fewer cleaning staff per hospital bed, worse patient perceptions of cleanliness and staff perceptions of availability of handwashing facilities. However, outsourcing was also associated with lower economic costs (without accounting for additional costs associated with treatment of hospital acquired infections).
The extent of population structure within Ireland is largely unknown, as is the impact of historical migrations. Here we illustrate fine-scale genetic structure across Ireland that follows geographic boundaries and present evidence of admixture events into Ireland. Utilising the ‘Irish DNA Atlas’, a cohort (n = 194) of Irish individuals with four generations of ancestry linked to specific regions in Ireland, in combination with 2,039 individuals from the Peoples of the British Isles dataset, we show that the Irish population can be divided in 10 distinct geographically stratified genetic clusters; seven of ‘Gaelic’ Irish ancestry, and three of shared Irish-British ancestry. In addition we observe a major genetic barrier to the north of Ireland in Ulster. Using a reference of 6,760 European individuals and two ancient Irish genomes, we demonstrate high levels of North-West French-like and West Norwegian-like ancestry within Ireland. We show that that our ‘Gaelic’ Irish clusters present homogenous levels of ancient Irish ancestries. We additionally detect admixture events that provide evidence of Norse-Viking gene flow into Ireland, and reflect the Ulster Plantations. Our work informs both on Irish history, as well as the study of Mendelian and complex disease genetics involving populations of Irish ancestry.
Previous studies of the genetic landscape of Ireland have suggested homogeneity, with population substructure undetectable using single-marker methods. Here we have harnessed the haplotype-based method fineSTRUCTURE in an Irish genome-wide SNP dataset, identifying 23 discrete genetic clusters which segregate with geographical provenance. Cluster diversity is pronounced in the west of Ireland but reduced in the east where older structure has been eroded by historical migrations. Accordingly, when populations from the neighbouring island of Britain are included, a west-east cline of Celtic-British ancestry is revealed along with a particularly striking correlation between haplotypes and geography across both islands. A strong relationship is revealed between subsets of Northern Irish and Scottish populations, where discordant genetic and geographic affinities reflect major migrations in recent centuries. Additionally, Irish genetic proximity of all Scottish samples likely reflects older strata of communication across the narrowest inter-island crossing. Using GLOBETROTTER we detected Irish admixture signals from Britain and Europe and estimated dates for events consistent with the historical migrations of the Norse-Vikings, the Anglo-Normans and the British Plantations. The influence of the former is greater than previously estimated from Y chromosome haplotypes. In all, we paint a new picture of the genetic landscape of Ireland, revealing structure which should be considered in the design of studies examining rare genetic variation and its association with traits.
Skeletal maturation is divisible to three main components; the time of appearance of an ossification center, its change in morphology and time of fusion to a primary ossification center. With regard to the knee, the intermediate period between appearance and fusion of the ossification centers extends over a period of greater than 10 years. This study aims to investigate radiographically the age at which morphological changes of the epiphyses at the knee occur in a modern Irish population. Radiographs of 221 subjects (137 males; 84 females) aged 9-19 years were examined. Seven nonmetric indicators of maturity were assessed using criteria modified from the Roche, Wainer, and Thissen method and Pyle and Hoerr’s atlas of the knee. Reference charts are presented which display the timeline for each of the grades of development of the seven indicators. Mean age was found to increase significantly with successive grades of development of each of the seven indicators. A significant difference was noted between males and females at the same grade of development for six of the seven indicators. The narrowest age range reported for a single grade of development was 2.2 years for Grade 2 of development of the tibial tuberosity for males. The information on changing morphology of the epiphyses at the knee in the present study may provide an adjunct to methods used for evaluation of skeletal maturity before surgery for orthopedic disorders or to evaluate skeletal age in clinical scenarios where either delayed or precocious skeletal maturation is suspected. Clin. Anat. 26:755-767, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Admission to an acute hospital can be distressing and disorientating for a person with dementia, and is associated with decline in cognitive and functional ability. The objective of this audit was to assess the quality of dementia care in acute hospitals in the Republic of Ireland.
Worldwide, the Irish diaspora experience elevated mortality and morbidity across generations, not accounted for through socioeconomic position. The main objective of the present study was to assess if childhood disadvantage accounts for poorer mental and physical health in adulthood, in second-generation Irish people.
Ptaquiloside, along with other natural phytotoxins, is receiving increased attention from scientists and land use managers. There is an urgent need to increase empirical evidence to understand the scale of phytotoxin mobilisation and potential to enter into the environment. In this study the risk of ptaquiloside to drinking water was assessed by quantifying ptaquiloside in the receiving waters at three drinking water abstraction sites across Ireland and in bracken fronds surrounding the abstraction sites. We also investigated the impact of different management regimes (spraying, cutting and rolling) on ptaquiloside concentrations at plot-scale in six locations in Northern Ireland, UK. Ptaquiloside concentrations were determined using recent advances in the use of LC-MS for the detection and quantification of ptaquiloside. The results indicate that ptaquiloside is present in bracken stands surrounding drinking water abstractions in Ireland, and ptaquiloside concentrations were also observed in the receiving waters. Furthermore, spraying was found to be the most effective bracken management regime observed in terms of reducing ptaquiloside load. Increased awareness is vital on the implications of managing land with extensive bracken stands.
This paper details results of a study examining administrative case data from 2010-2015 from abortion funds serving the USA and the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man. Driven by the available data, the researchers compared organisational characteristics, patient characteristics, procedural costs, patient resources and the ratio between patient resources and procedural costs. Independent t-tests were conducted to assess whether differences in characteristics, costs or resources were significant. The number of patients serviced by abortion funds across the two datasets increased yearly from 2010-2015. While patients in the USA had more resources, on average, to contribute to their abortion procedure, Irish, Northern Irish and Manx patients had the resources to pay for a greater percentage of their costs, on average, which was mainly attributable to the differences in gestational age of those helped by the different abortion funds. Patients across all nations were similar in terms of their marital status, average age and number of existing children. Patients across these countries face expensive procedures and a lack of resources that are bridged in part by abortion fund assistance.
The rate of people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) is predicted to double by 2030 resulting in an even greater burden to an already struggling Irish health care system. There is a paucity of information regarding hospital utilisation among the PD population in an Irish context.
This article examines hospital provision in Ireland during the early twentieth century. It examines attempts by the newly independent Irish Free State to reform and de-stigmatise medical relief in former workhouse infirmaries. Such reforms were designed to move away from nineteenth century welfare regimes which were underpinned by principles of deterrence. The reform initiated in independent Ireland - the first attempted break-up of the New Poor Law in Great Britain or Ireland - was partly successful. Many of the newly named County and District Hospitals provided solely for medical cases and managed to dissociate such health care provision from the relief of poverty. However, some hospitals continued to act as multifunctional institutions and provided for various categories including the sick, the aged and infirm, ‘unmarried mothers’ and ‘harmless lunatics’. Such institutions often remained associated with the relief of poverty. This article also examines patient fee-payment and outlines how fresh terms of entitlement and means-testing were established. Such developments were even more pronounced in voluntary hospitals where the majority of patients made a financial contribution to their treatment. The article argues that the ability to pay at times determined the type of provision, either voluntary or rate-aided, available to the sick. However, it concludes that the clinical condition of patients often determined whether they entered a more prestigious voluntary hospital or the former workhouse. Although this article concentrates on two Irish case studies, County Kerry and Cork City; it is conceptualised within wider developments with particular reference to the British context.