Staff at Gorey District Hospital have expressed their thanks to the people of Gorey and surrounding community in North Wexford for their support over the last three months which saw the respite facility become a step-down COVID-19 care facility to serve the county.
In recent weeks, the hospital has resumed its customary role as a 21-bed facility providing 24-hour convalescent, palliative and emergency respite nursing care for mainly elderly patients across the county.
Acting Director of Nursing at Gorey District Hospital, Catherine Kinsella, paid tribute to both staff and local people for their support during the unprecedented crisis.
“The hospital in Gorey has a proud history and the last three challenging months will now feature as a major part of it. The dedication and unflinching hard work of our staff, our agency staff, our occupational therapy, physio and community care maintenance team has been incredible – as has the support from our local community,” she said.
“There are literally so many people to thank that it’s difficult to know where to start. To all those who volunteered their services – including those whom we didn’t need to call on and those who came in to do some heavy lifting in the early days of setting up and later those running errands, the schools who donated their laboratory wear to supplement our PPE, those who purchased and donated PPE, those who delivered food to the staff (we were never short of goodies!), those who sent us care packages for patients and staff, made scrubs, offered to make masks, donated smartpads for patients, sent us messages of support and so many more lovely gestures and of course the ‘Friends of Gorey District Hospital’ who as always were there for us.”
In March, as part of the HSE/South East Community Healthcare’s management of the COVID-19 pandemic public health emergency, Gorey District Hospital was designated as a “step down” COVID-19 care facility to serve the Co Wexford area. As the demand for such COVID-19 care step-down beds reduced over recent weeks, the District Hospital was stood down from this role and reopened for convalescent, palliative and emergency respite admissions with a view to being also available to planned respite and medical assessment admissions when directed by public health guidelines.
“The staff of the hospital have always had great relationships with patients and their families and it was probably exemplified as never before in recent months. Adding to the challenges was the necessary ban on visiting for families and the other inconveniences of not being able to access Gorey District Hospital. Anyone passing by recently may have seen family members at windows along front of hospital making contact with their loved ones,” she said.
Catherine acknowledged that there were still challenges ahead.
“In terms of COVID-19, we need to remain vigilant and measures to guard against it impacting our services further are very much in mind and in the planning and delivery of ongoing services here in the hospital,” she said.
“Simply, we just want the people of Gorey and surrounding areas to know that we are deeply appreciative of their support and understanding in what has been and is challenging times, apologise for any inconvenience and assure the public that the welfare of all patients is a priority for staff and management.”