Concept: Irish people
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.
to explore the views of expert midwives in Ireland and New Zealand of the skills they employ in expectant management of the third stage of labour (EMTSL).
Between 1997 and 2010, the English government pursued an ambitious programme to reduce health inequalities, the explicit and sustained commitment of which was historically and internationally unique. Previous evaluations have produced mixed results. None of these evaluations have, however, compared the trends in health inequalities within England with those in other European countries. We carried out an innovative analysis to assess whether changes in trends in health inequalities observed in England after the implementation of its programme, have been more favourable than those in other countries without such a programme.
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.
Ethnic differences in cancer symptom awareness and barriers to seeking medical help in the English population are not fully understood. We aimed to quantify these differences, to help develop more effective health campaigns, tailored to the needs of different ethnic groups.
Breastfeeding initiation rates in some developed countries are high (98 % in Sweden and 96 % in Australia) whereas in others, they are not as favourable (46 % to 55 % in Ireland). Although the World Health Organization recommends exclusively breastfeeding for six months, 15 % of Australian women, 11 % of Swedish women and less than 7 % of Irish women achieve this goal. Awareness of what women in different countries perceive as essential breastfeeding support is a gap in our knowledge.
In the twentieth century, the Irish-born population in England has typically been in worse health than both the native population and the Irish population in Ireland, a reversal of the commonly observed healthy migrant effect. Recent birth cohorts living in England and born in Ireland, however, are healthier than the English population. The substantial Irish migrant health penalty arises principally for cohorts born between 1920 and 1960. In this article, we attempt to understand the processes that generated these changing migrant health patterns for Irish migrants to England. Our results suggest a strong role for economic selection in driving the dynamics of health differences between Irish-born migrants and white English populations.
The provision of abortion services in the Republic of Ireland is legally restricted. Recent legislation that has been implemented allows for abortion if there is a real and substantial risk to the woman’s life, but in general Irish women must travel abroad for abortion services. The aims of this study were to investigate the clinical experiences of Irish obstetric non-consultant hospital doctors (NCHDs) that work in this environment and to assess their attitudes towards termination of pregnancy (ToP).