A joint statement from HSE Services in Cork and Kerry, including Cork Kerry Community Healthcare,the South South West Hospital Group and the Department of Public Health

HSE management across Cork and Kerry wish to thank the public for their support in recent days as all parts of the health services respond to COVID-19.

The initial confirmed case of COVID-19 in Cork University Hospital on Thursday March 5th has inevitably led to disruption to appointments, to visiting arrangements and has also led to a follow-on impact on other services. We wish to thank the public for their understanding and support at this time of unavoidable disruption.

Staff from across all areas of the service have worked across the weekend and into today on contact tracing, which means identifying people who have been in close contact with confirmed cases  COVID-19 and giving them appropriate public health advice. 

Director of Public Health, HSE South Dr Augustine Pereira said:

“We aim to contact trace and communicate with everyone as quickly as possible. If people do not hear directly from us, they do not need to be concerned.”

“Ireland remains in the containment phase. That means that all efforts are being made to identify contacts and to give them specific public health advice,” he added.

CEO of the South South West Hospital Group Gerry O’Dwyer said:

“We have had no option but to restrict visiting at hospitals across the South South West Hospital Group, and also to cancel some appointments at Cork University Hospital. We appreciate how difficult this can be for patients and their loved ones, and we wish to thank them for their understanding.”

Chief Officer of Cork Kerry Community Healthcare Ger Reaney said:

“We are very conscious that as the entire health service prepares to meet the challenges ahead, there will unfortunately be an impact on people using our services. We will do everything we can to keep that impact to a minimum. We wish to thank the people of the region for working with us.”

Dr Pereira, Mr O’Dwyer and Mr Reaney all expressed their thanks to staff in all areas of the service who have been working constantly to allow health services locally to respond to current events and prepare for the challenges ahead.

“We know that there are challenging times ahead, but with your continued commitment, dedication and hard work that we will meet those challenges,” they said.

A contact centre was up and running in Cork last Friday to assist with the process of contacting and communicating with people who are designated as contacts of confirmed cases of COVID-19.

This call centre was equipped, set-up and staffed in a very short space of time, and staff have worked constantly in recent days to continue that process of communicating with people in contact with confirmed cases of COVID-19. Direct contact will be made with anyone who has been in contact with a recently confirmed case. Anyone with general concerns should firstly see HSE.ie/coronavirus. If you still have concerns, you may wish to can ring HSE Live on 1850 24 1850

We would like to remind the public that the most important steps we can all take right now are to:

  1. Wash our hands, thoroughly and regularly for at least 20 seconds. This video shows you how
  2. Stop the spread of infections by covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, either with a tissue or your arm
  3. Go to HSE.ie/coronavirus for the best and most current information as the situation evolves. If you have particular concerns, you can ring HSE Live on 1850 24 1850

 Note:

CUH will be reducing/rescheduling outpatient appointments between Monday 9th to Wednesday 11th March (inclusive)

Please note the following services will not be impacted and patients are to attend as per their appointments:

  • Dialysis
  • Dressing clinic
  • Warfarin clinic
  • Endoscopy
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Infusions
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy

All other appointments are being rescheduled, unless patients are directly contacted by the hospital to attend their scheduled appointment.

Surgeries will proceed as normal unless patients are contacted by the hospital and advised otherwise.

Cork University Hospital apologise for any inconvenience this may cause to patients.

Visiting restrictions remain throughout the hospital and CUH wish to thank the public for their patience and support at this time. The hospital will continue to keep the public updated.

 ENDS

Last updated on: 10 / 03 / 2020