HSE/South East Community Healthcare, which has responsibility for services for older people (including associated residential care) in Kilkenny, has said it is working closely with and supporting over 60 privately run nursing and welfare homes throughout the region.
South East Community Healthcare (SECH) says that transfer from such private facilities to the four acute hospitals in the South-east is arranged where clinically appropriate. It also says strenuous efforts are ongoing to ensure that adequate supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are provided to privately run facilities – as well as to HSE run hospitals, residential care centres and community support services.
The same supports are in place for facilities and services for those with disabilities.
In recent days, across the public, private and voluntary nursing and welfare home sector in the South-east, an extensive programme of testing for Covid-19 has begun implementation. The HSE is committed to ensuring as quick a turnaround time as is practicable for the issuing of results in this respect.
SECH’s Head of Service for Social Care Janette Dwyer has thanked the private and voluntary providers of residential care in the South East for their efforts to ensure that the HSE’s strategic goals of identifying, containing and stopping the spread of the coronavirus are met from day to day in counties Carlow, Kilkenny, South Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford.
“We are very conscious that nursing home residents are amongst the most vulnerable members of society. Private nursing homes are facing a huge challenge at the moment," said Ms Dwyer.
"As part of our response, we have a network of expert support teams in place across the South East and their remit is to provide assistance to residential facilities for older people during the Covid-19 crisis. These support teams are made up of staff from the acute hospitals and community healthcare services, with support from Public Health specialists and Infection Control professionals.
“The teams are led by experienced Nurse Managers from SECH and are made up of senior Consultants from acute hospitals (including Consultant Geriatricians from University Hospital Waterford, Wexford General Hospital, St. Luke’s General Hospital Carlow/Kilkenny and South Tipperary General Hospital), GPs and the community services. These teams have been providing expert clinical support to Nursing Managers and GPs in residential facilities for several weeks.”
“Clear pathways are in place, to make sure that every resident in every nursing home and residential facility in the South East gets the appropriate medical and nursing care at the right time and in the right care setting, in keeping with their own values and expectations. We are in daily contact with all private nursing home and residential care facilities in counties Carlow, Kilkenny, South Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford. The support we have offered so far includes expert advice and support for management, public health guidance, occupational health advice, the supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), assistance in sourcing staff where required and support in sourcing accommodation for staff where it’s needed. All nursing homes and residential care facilities have direct contact details for HSE Community Support Teams in their area and these teams are available seven days a week.”
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