1st May 2020 HSE Dublin South, Kildare & West Wicklow Community Healthcare Update Ann O’Shea, Chief Officer of HSE Dublin South, Kildare & West Wicklow Community Healthcare acknowledged “A sincere mile buiochas to all staff working here in this community services and hospital groups over the past number of weeks. Staff from within our organisation and staff from outside who have redeployed in. A number of staff have changed roles, worked weekends, worked late into the night, worked from home all to assist in the fight against this challenging circumstance. All of you are heroes, all of you are making the difference to the success of the COVID-19 fight in this country.
I am now asking for support for our Social Care Services, all services have been working strategically to keep essential services going and to reconfigure existing services. However, we urgently require additional nurses and health care assistants to work in public and private long term care facilities. If you or if you know of someone who is clinically trained, not currently working in a healthcare setting and is willing to come back part-time or full time please email your cv to
The first of our COVID-19 Community Assessment Hubs opened on Friday 17th April in Clondalkin (Dublin 22), since then we have opened additional Assessment Hubs in Tallaght (Dublin 24), Rialto (Dublin 8) and Naas (Co. Kildare). Community Assessment Hubs are an 'appointment only' service and can be accessed by referral from your GP. Each Hub will have a multidisciplinary team that will be able to clinically assess what additional medical treatment is required by a patient who is COVID-19 positive or presumptive COVID-19. Following review and clinical assessment at the Community Assessment Hubs, patients may either be asked to return home, referred to hospital or be referred to a self-isolation facility when it is not feasible for an individual to self-isolate within their own home.
Our aim in providing the Hubs is so that anyone who requires a face-to-face clinical assessment can be reviewed within the primary care setting, as quickly as possible. This will assist patients who need assessment but who do not require immediate hospital care to avoid referrals to acute hospitals where possible.
www.hse.ie provides useful information in regard to COVID-19 symptoms, testing and treatment pathways.” Update from the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group Trevor O’Callaghan CEO of Dublin Midlands Hospital Group in his weekly update to the community said, “We are now in our 7th week of government Covid-19 restrictions and acknowledge the efforts the public and staff have made to adhere to the restrictions. It is imperative that we keep this up as it is having a positive impact. It has had a stabilising effect on our acute services, albeit some of our ICUs remain in surge. Our Hospitals are seeing further presentations and admissions to our EDs, and many hospitals reporting that those admissions are people who are non-covid and very sick.
It is so important that people know that if you are feeling particularly unwell, particularly with signs of symptoms of Stroke or Heart Failure that you immediately seek medical advice and attention. GPs and GP Out of Hours Services are available in the first instance to support you. If you have an emergency, please do not delay and attend your nearest Emergency Department. We also want to assure you that extensive work has been undertaken by Hospitals to ensure we protect those who are attending for our services and we want to reassure our patient population," he continued.
Emergency Department Consultant, George Little at Naas General Hospital said, “We also want to reassure people that all EDs check patients for symptoms of COVID-19 on arrival. After this initial assessment, patients are divided into two separate treatment pathways/tracks i.e. one track for patients with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 and a separate track for those who require treatment for other urgent conditions. This is to ensure proper infection control and to minimise the spread of the virus.
The message from our EDs is if you or someone else needs urgent care please go to your nearest Emergency Department immediately or dial 999/112 for emergency care. Please do not delay seeking treatment. EDs always prioritise the sickest patients first for treatment.
The HSE is also concerned about people putting off attending hospital appointments even when the hospital team has contacted them and advised that they need to attend. If you have an urgent or time-critical hospital appointment, please attend as advised by your hospital. If you are worried or have concerns, please phone the hospital staff. Please do not delay getting your treatment and attending your appointment as advised by your hospital team.
A particular focus for Hospitals in recent weeks is with regard to our support and outreach to nursing homes, both private and public through the Area Crisis Management Teams. Significant challenges are now presenting in these units. We are continuing to work collaboratively with our CHO 7 Partners. These units care for the most vulnerable in our society. We need to maintain these residents within the most appropriate setting that best meets their needs with safe staffing levels and expert support of our hospital outreach teams which are all working and engaged with the units. The Nursing Home Temporary Support Scheme will provide financial support and this is also a welcome support.”
Alice Kinsella, General Manager, Naas General Hospital said, “I want to acknowledge the support of our clinical and nursing colleagues who are engaged proactively with the CHO7 and individual long term residential units. We want to provide confidence and assurances to the management in these units by working with their own GPs and clinical teams so we can all pull together for these residents in these challenging times.”
Finally, in recent weeks the Department of Health has launched a national mental health campaign #Together. These are really tough times and we need to acknowledge and support our staff and their mental health but also the wider community. These are really stressful times but there is a wealth of resources available. I would urge people to visit
www.gov.ie/together and familiarise yourself with the support that is available to you. In particular for our staff, the psycho-social response efforts being developed by our CHO Partners are also available to Hospital staff. If you are a staff member and need this service, contact your line manager immediately, who can provide you with this information.