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“We all know how important social distancing is at present. However, for someone with mental health needs and individuals with dementia, our aim is to make this distancing merely a physical one,” said Regina Lafferty, Clinical Nurse Specialist in Dementia. “The truth is that for those who are cocooning, the days can be long and lonely.” In ‘normal’ circumstances mental health service users needs are supported by various community and hospital based services such as Day Care Centres, social groups, Men’s Sheds, community mental health teams and many others. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic many service users and their families are unable to access the community based services. Staff in Mental Health Services for Older Persons in HSE North Dublin were extremely mindful of this and in response developed a programme called ‘Golden Moments’ to provide a structured alternative in supporting individuals with dementia in their homes. And it worked well. ‘Golden Moments’ has been an overwhelming success and service users and family members have let us know by text, emails, voicemail and cards.
Going for a Covid-19 test can be daunting, especially for children, as Speech and Language Therapists in Dublin North City and County noticed when working frontline at the community testing centre at Croke Park. Sinéad Finn, Speech and Language Therapist in Dublin North City and County, explained, “We wanted to help children who were worried when coming for testing and thought a visual story would be useful. We discussed this at our daily debrief and were delighted to be supported and encouraged by Maria Flaherty, our Clinical Lead at the Testing Centre.
A hug or even the sight of a loved one at your bedside can help patients to get through tough times in hospitals. It’s the lack of this close contact that has been hardest on patients and families during the COVID-19 crisis. But UL Hospitals Group has been facilitating virtual hospital visits to help keep families in touch during the public health emergency.
Tallaght University Hospital (TUH) has responded in creative and adaptable ways to the unique challenges presented by COVID-19 to ensure patients and staff still have access to art and music - but in a different and more virtual way. As with all services across the Hospital, COVID-19 has severely impacted the process of delivering the Arts Service in the hospital. Music therapy and art at the bedside services to patients are not possible and ‘Heartbeats - TUH Choir’ rehearsals have been cancelled due to necessary social distancing and infection-control measures. But the work of The National Centre for Arts & Health at TUH has ensured that patients and staff continue to have the health and wellbeing benefits that art and music bring.
April 17th should have been the most special day of her life but one nurse spent the day wearing scrubs instead of her wedding dress as she battled Covid-19 on the frontline. A Clinical Nurse Manager in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Aisling McGarrell was forced to cancel her wedding plans after the crisis hit last month. But rather than taking off what was supposed to be her wedding day, she opted to join her colleagues on a 12-hour shift.
Mary Walshe was in Thailand in January when she first heard of Coronavirus. She never anticipated that within three months she would be back in Ireland, setting up country’s first self isolation facility in Citywest – the well known Dublin hotel and conference facility Having retired early (from position of Chief Officer Dublin North) on April 1st last year, Mary did so “in order to spend some quality time with family and to travel because that’s one of my loves. I hadn’t been in a position to do it for a while so when I set off, I ended up spending most of last year travelling.
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We need to support our workforce who have experienced significant increases in demand, and have been doing 'more with less' over the last number of years.