Midlands health staff and public thanked by HSE in battle against Covid-19

Express Reporter

Reporter:

Express Reporter

COVID-19

Testing for Covid-19

HSE management across Hospitals and community services in the Midlands including Laois have sent a message of thanks to the people of Laois and other Midlands counties for their support of staff during the current crisis.

"The action of the people of the Midlands in recent weeks will save lives," according to the Management from Community Healthcare Midlands Louth Meath, the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group, the Department of Public Health and the National Ambulance Service.

Everyone's efforts to work in essential services or indeed to stay safe home have given services in the county "vital time to prepare" they said.

CEO of the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group which includes Portlaoise and Tullamore hospitals is Trevor O’Callaghan.

“We thank and commend all our staff for their incredible efforts at this time. They have already gone above and beyond the call of duty as our health service faces extraordinary demands. I am immensely proud of all our staff as they rise to meet the unprecedented challenge posed by Covid-19. I want to thank all staff for the inspiring work being carried out in making advanced preparations. Every effort has been made prior to this virus arriving in Ireland to ensure that we would be as ready as we could be in the circumstances and in the best possible position to protect and safeguard public health.”

They have outlined latest developments across Hospitals:

·The Oncology Haematology Services for the Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore has temporarily relocated to the Hermitage in Dublin and that service commenced last week.

·Emergency Services continue as normal and are open 24/7 for people who are seriously ill or injured and if their life is at risk. Stroke and heart attacks are life-threatening medical emergencies. If you or someone else is showing signs of a stroke or heart attack, don’t wait, call 999.

·Tallaght University Hospital Oncology Day Ward has temporarily moved offsite. Now relocated on the 5th floor of the Russell Building.

·Oncology Haematology Day Services at Naas General Hospital has temporarily relocated to Express Centre in Affidea, Vista Primary Care, Naas.

·Warfarin clinic from Naas General Hospital has temporarily moved to Affidea in Vista Primary Care Centre, Naas.

·Visiting Restriction remain across all Hospitals.

Any updates will be included on the HSE website.

An area Crisis Management Team has put in place extensive preparations for the impact of Covid-19 on services.

These include:

-Increasing bed capacity across the entire healthcare system in order to additional ICU beds, acute beds, transitional and step-down care.

-Putting in place arrangements to open self-isolation facilities should they be needed. Updates on this shortly.

-Establishing testing centres in each county in the region.

-Supporting community response forums set up by local authorities.

-Planning to provide community assessment hubs, which will begin to open by the end of this week. These facilities are for members of the public with Covid-19 whose GP has determined they need a medical examination.

-Working with private hospitals to increase bed capacity in the acute hospital system and ensuring critical services continue.

"Most importantly, we are still providing vital services and we are still here for the people of the Midlands and Louth and Meath," the groups said this Monday April 6.

Chief Officer of Midlands Louth Meath Community Healthcare Pat Bennet chairs the HSE’s area crisis management team.

“We have seen a huge redeployment of staff across our services, and our staff have risen to this challenge as they move to screening centres; from desk jobs back to ward duties; and increase their working hours where they can. Their efforts will help us to provide care for the people of Midlands, Louth & Meath," he said.

“We thank the people of Midlands Louth Meath for their support at this time. That support takes many different forms, and it means so much to our hard-working staff. In particular, we want to thank everyone who has helped a healthcare work with childcare, as every extra hour that you can facilitate a staff member to work is a huge help," Mr Bennett added.

With visiting restrictions in place at all hospitals and residential centres, staff are doing everything possible to support patients and residents and to help them keep in contact with relatives and friends.

“We know that visiting restrictions are very difficult, and that some people have not been able to see their loved ones for many weeks now. Our staff are doing everything possible to make sure all patients and residents are kept safe and well,” Mr Bennett said.

Some key developments in Midlands Louth Meath

·There is a number of Community Testing sites opened and receiving referrals. The volume of referrals allocated to the community area will determine if additional testing capacity is required. Testing centres operating this week include MW Hire O’Moore Park/ LOETB Centre of Excellence, St Loman’s Hospital, Mullingar, Dundalk Institute of Technology and Navan Rugby Clu

·Community Assessment Hubs are expected to open by the end of this week. Forty locations have been identified across the country and 12-15 will be established by the end of this week. Locations for this service have been identified in the Midlands and at least one hub will open this week. Opening may rotate based on volumes. Referral is by GP.

Director of Public Health for the Midlands Una Fallon, thanked the people of the Midlands for adhering to guidelines and staying at home as much as possible.

“Staying at home will help us all to slow the spread of the virus, and that is giving us the opportunity to prepare all parts of the service.

We would like to remind you that when you leave your home for essential reasons, that you continue to keep two metres apart from anyone not in your household. Also, please maintain regular hand washing, regular cleaning of surface and always remember to catch your coughs and colds. It’s more important now than ever,” she said.

·A recruitment campaign has been launched for all healthcare staff, including student nurses and midwives, across our Community Services You can view the ad on HSE LinkedIn or on the following @DMHospitalgroup or visit here.

·        ‘Support our frontline’ campaign with some very familiar names and personalities who have entertained us either on TV and radio, or on the field of sport. The message is clear – you can play your part because we are all in this together! 

·        ‘Support our frontline’ campaign with some very familiar names and personalities who have entertained us either on TV and radio, or on the field of sport. The message is clear – you can play your part because we are all in this together! Watch the YouTube video here.