HSE Partner Pack 1st September 2023

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Dear Colleague,

Thank you for helping to share information and updates from our HSE teams and services.

Health service updates and information

Expansion of Free Contraception Service

On 14 September 2022, the Government launched  a free prescription and emergency contraception service for 17 to 25 year olds. This was extended to 17 to 26 year olds in January 2023.

From today, 1st September 2023, this service will be available to 17 to 30 year olds.

More information about the free contraception service is available here.

A campaign partner pack with more information is attached at the bottom of this message, describing the campaign and the ways that you and your organisation can help to get the word out through your channels.

You can also find social content about the new service on HSE Sexual Wellbeing channels including Facebook, Instagram and TikTok

Expansion of the Laura Brennan HPV Catch-Up Programme

The HPV vaccine is now available to all males aged 21 and under. The vaccine is also available to women aged 24 and under who have not previously had the vaccine. The catch-up programme will run until the end of the year.

HPV is a virus that can cause cancer. It spreads easily through sexual contact and causes genital warts, as well as certain cancers in men and women, like anal cancer, cervical cancer, and penile cancer.

For more information and to book an appointment visit www.hpv.ie.

HSE back at Electric Picnic 2023 to provide harm reduction services

  • 70 HSE-trained volunteers
  • Five drugs.ie surrender bins
  • Drugs.ie tents at three locations
  • On site lab for drug checking and real-time results

Continuing its partnership with Electric Picnic Festival (1st – 3rd September 2023), HSE’s Safer Nightlife Programme is expanding its service to include Drugs.ie tents and outreach teams at three locations where the public can come for information, support and surrender drugs for ‘back of house’ for on-site drug checking.

This programme is an excellent example of a health-led response to drugs whereby the HSE, Gardai and festival organisers collaborate to ensure that a safe space is provided for people who use drugs at events to surrender drugs.

The Safer Nightlife campaign has already been delivered at both Life and Body and Soul Festivals this summer where harm reduction teams and ‘back of house’ drug checking has been provided to analyse drugs on-site. This work has led to the HSE issuing three risk communications relating to high strength, ketamine, cocaine and MDMA, as well as the HSE identifying three drugs which have never been detected before in Ireland.

The HSE drugs.ie teams can be found in the Main Arena, in the Jimmy Hendrix Campsite and in the Janus Joplin Campsite from Friday 12:00noon – 9:00pm and Saturday and Sunday 11:00am – 9:00pm. Updates will be shared on Twitter and Instagram @drugsdotie.

HSE raising awareness of the importance of keeping your brain healthy this World Alzheimer’s Month

The theme for this September’s World Alzheimer’s Month is “Never too early, never too late” with a focus on risk factors and risk reduction.

Many people don’t know the lifestyle factors that can increase the likelihood of developing dementia. Simple changes, such as eating a healthy diet, reducing your alcohol intake, exercising, keeping socially connected, quitting smoking and even minding your hearing, can all have a real impact on your risk and also improve outcomes for people with dementia.

With the number of people living with dementia more than double by 2045, it has never been more important to recognise the risk factors associated with dementia and take proactive steps towards risk reduction.

If you are concerned about dementia or memory loss, support is available. We work with the Alzheimer Society of Ireland to provide a national helpline, call free on 1800 341 341 (Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm, Saturday 10am to 4pm). For more information about the campaign, dementia and to find services and support near you, visit www.understandtogether.ie.

We would be grateful if partners would help us raise awareness during the month, please find some template social media posts attached in the campaign pack at the bottom of this email. Thank you for helping to share the information.

GP Visit Cards for children Under 8

All children aged 0-7 can now get a GP Visit Card, which means free GP care for all children under 8 living in Ireland. Previously, this was available for all children under 6. The expansion will provide free GP care to an estimated 78,000 children aged 6 and 7. Current GP visit cards for children will automatically be extended until their 8th birthday.

If you have a GP visit card, you don’t have to pay to see your doctor. You will have to pay for medicines and other services.

Parents can register children for a GP visit card at hse.ie. If a child turns 6 on or after 1 July 2023, and already has a GP Visit Card, their card will automatically be extended by the HSE and they don’t need to register.

If people or a family already have a medical card for their child, they don’t need to register for this service. The medical card already provides free GP visits, along with other benefits.

If you need more information, please visit www.hse.ie/GPVisitCards.

HSE Talking Health & Welling Podcast: Season 2

Season 2 of the HSE Talking Health and Wellbeing Podcast began this week with a new episode on Positive Mental Health. Upcoming weekly episodes will include Alcohol and Pregnancy, Cancer Prevention, Dementia, Healthy Eating, Obesity, Financial Wellbeing and an episode with HSE CEO Bernard Gloster.

This successful podcast series highlights the breadth of work undertaken across health and wellbeing, talking to patients, staff and community partners about their experiences and perspectives.

All 20 episodes to date are still available for you to listen to on podcast channels such as Google, Spotify, or on the HSE Health and Wellbeing YouTube channel.


For information and advice, 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.

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.

If your organisation has any requests in relation to public health information materials, please reply directly to this email to let us know.

Many thanks,

Kahlil & Katie

Stakeholder Engagement, HSE Communications

Contact Information

HSE Partner Pack

Free Contraception 17-30 Partner Pack 2023v2



World Alzheimer’s Partner Pack 2023


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