Noteworthy supporters keen to see health service investigated

Our investigative platform recently received a lot of emails and support for health-related projects.

By Maria Delaney

“WE ARE WAITING for Niamh* to get assessed and and have been told it will be months before [she] gets an appointment.” 

An excerpt of just one of the many emails we received recently in relation to our proposed investigation into ongoing issues with the HSE’s disability services for children. 

At Noteworthy, we explore the stories that matter to you. In recent months, continuing concerns with our health service, such as this, were among the top issues that you have both reported directly to us and given funding to.

This is reflected in some of our latest proposed investigations which received good support when they were put out for crowdfunding. 

Our DELAYED DELIVERY project hopes to examine delays in the rollout of Progressing Disability Services and the impact it is having on children.

As well as receiving emails in relation to it, we also had a number of funding contributions following two recent articles – one on surveys that highlighted concerns that services are getting worse rather than better; and another which reported that none of the 91 community teams for children with disabilities are fully staffed.

A number of other health-related topics caught the attention of Noteworthy supporters of late. These included SPECIALIST CARE - which will investigate the conditions intern doctors and specialist trainees experience – and PUSHING PILLS which hopes to find out if there is an overprescription problem in our nursing homes.

Design for SYSTEM OVERLOAD - Healthcare worker with mask, hair cover and face shield holding a Covid test in gloved hands.

The fallout of Covid on the Irish health service has been well publicised and this trend may be related to that. The impact of poor services is frequently seen in our reporting, including in our recent investigation into eating disorder services which revealed that most cannot access adequate care.

Interestingly, our top funded health-related proposal is directly linked to both Covid and health. SYSTEM OVERLOAD will look take a deep-dive into our public health system which was creaking before the pandemic to find out the key issues faced as well as how Ireland compares to our international counterparts.

Consistent support for environment reporting

Biodiversity and environment reporting has been key to Noteworthy over the past number of years. This is down to our supporters consistently sending us topics to investigate and helping to fund projects. 

Just in the past month, we reported on the ‘vicious circle’ of public works that are ‘degrading’ Ireland’s rivers and had in-depth coverage of illegal peat cutting

However, one project that has received steady support over the past few months and is now almost funded is IN THE WEEDS. This will the examine the extent of chemical weed killers and other herbicide use by State bodies and local authorities. 

Two other environment-related projects have also received a lot of interest: FUELLING RETIREMENT will investigate if Irish pensions are contributing to the climate crisis – something very relevant with an auto-enrollment scheme for pensions due to start soon.

In our LIGHTS OUT project, we are hoping to examine if the State has planned for the expected growing demand for power as we electrify our energy, heat and transport systems. This has become even more important since we launched it given the current energy crisis.  

Design for LIGHTS OUT - A light bulb which is on fire being held in someone’s hand with a jagged white line coming out of it symbolising electric current.

Putting a spotlight on poorly covered issues

Though health and environment were the top themes, other topics – in particular those that are not getting covered elsewhere – have received backing from our supporters.  

Two that caught the team’s attention for their ongoing support over a number of months relate to very different issues.  

BLIND JUSTICE wants to examine if everyone is equal in the eyes of the Irish law and prison system, with a focus on Travellers. This follows on from our award-winning investigation, TOUGH START, which exposed the challenges faced by children from the Traveller community across key areas impacting their development.

And to end on a a very different proposed investigation – ACROSS THE BOARD – which will examine if rural grants are being distributed equally under the LEADER scheme – a programme which has funded €220 million worth of rural projects since 2014.  

In addition to funding individual projects, the team’s general fund - including a monthly contribution option - plays a key role in the functioning of Noteworthy, helping us to:

  • Investigate stories that the team can’t publicly fundraise for because of legal reasons.
  • Dive deeper into investigations and follow leads outside the scope of the initial budget.
  • Have more interaction with you about what you want us to investigate (submit your ideas here).

Thank you for your continued support! 

*Name has been changed

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