Laois nursing home needs more HSE support to keep significant Covid-19 outbreak which has claimed a life under control

Many patients and staff infected and one woman has died

Conor Ganly


Conor Ganly


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Droimnín Nursing Home Stradbally

A Laois nursing home needs more support from the HSE to keep a significant Covid-19 outbreak under control which claimed the life of one of its residents this week. 

The elderly local woman died at the Droimnín Nursing Home where a substantial number of residents and staff have tested positive for Covid-19 after an outbreak swept through the facility in Stradbally in less than a week.

Gearóid Brennan is the General Manager of the Droimnín Nursing Home.

He confirmed that the first case was detected on December 29 with many subsequent cases testing positive since then.  He confirmed that a female resident passed away after contracting the virus.

The manager said a substantial number of its residents have contracted the virus but most do not have symptoms. The facility is home to 65 men and women. Many staff have also had to self-isolate after either testing positive or being a close contact.

"We have a significant number of positive cases and staff are also affected. It has put us under a lot of pressure. We are part of a broader group (Brookhaven Nursing Homes) and all the resources are being made available to do everything we possibly can to protect residents and keep them safe," he said.

Mr Brennan said management is meeting twice daily to support the director of nursing, Deirdre O'Callaghan and her team. He said the group has reached out to the HSE for support.

"We are meeting regularly with the HSE's Covid-19 Outbreak Team in an effort to get resources from wherever we can to support the team in Stradbally. The HSE has sent in one nurse and a health care assistant and a maintenance person but we need more. Four of our nurses were positive and that leaves a significant hole.

"At a time like this, you have to put on additional resources because the nursing demands grow. We are literally trawling the country with agencies to get staff but we do have it under control. It is ongoing and is challenging but we are doing everything we possibly can to protect our residents," he said.

Mr Brennan said there are 65 residents in the home all of whom have now been isolated. About 40 residents have contracted the virus but most do not have symptoms. Some 20 staff have tested positive to date.

"All residents and families are being communicated with by the director of nursing on a daily basis. They are aware of the situation and the measures being taken. It is under control," he said.

He added that there are special isolation units within the home but these areas have had to be expanded to ensure that residents who have not contracted the disease are cared for separately.

The Stradbally home is part of a group that runs five facilities in Laois, Kilkenny, Galway, Mayo and Dublin.

There hare been a number of outbreaks at nursing homes or long term residential nursing homes in Laois. Covid-19 claimed the lives of nine people at the HSE run Maryborough Centre in Portlaoise over Easter 2020 during the first wave. 

An unspecified number of residents of the Kilminchy Lodge Nursing Home in Portlaoise also died during an outbreak during the second wave.

Vaccination is due to begin at care homes in Laois by the middle of January.

It's reported that the Laois schedule is as follows:
Kilminchy Lodge Nursing Home, Portlaoise 12/01/2021
Community Nursing Unit Abbeyleix -  13/01/2021
St. Brigid's Hospital, Shaen - 14/01/2021
St Vincent's Community Nursing Unit, Mountmellick, 15/01/2021
Droimnin Nursing Home, Portlaoise - 19/01/2021
Ballard Nursing Home, Stradbally - 21/01/2021
Nearby homes include:
Oakdale Nursing Home, Portarlington, Co Offaly -29/01/2021
St. Vincent's Hospital, Athy, Co Kildare - 14/01/2021
Brookhaven Nursing Home, Ballyragget, Co Kilkenny, 15/01/2021
St Fiacc's House, Graiguecullen - 26/01/2021