The HSE has created a network of expert support teams across counties Carlow, Kilkenny, South Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford to provide assistance to residential facilities for older people during the Covid-19 crisis, a statement has said.
"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.
"Nursing home residents are amongst the most vulnerable members of society and this move by the HSE/South East Community Healthcare recognises the challenges which private nursing homes are facing at the moment.
"The teams are led by experienced nurse managers from South East Community Healthcare and are made up of senior doctors and nurses from acute hospitals and the community service, including Consultant Geriatricians from University Hospital Waterford, Wexford General Hospital, St. Luke’s General Hospital Carlow/Kilkenny and South Tipperary General Hospital.
"These HSE Clinical Support Teams have been providing expert clinical support to Nursing Managers and General Practitioners in residential facilities for several weeks."
Janette Dwyer (Head of Service/Social Care, South East Community Healthcare) says: "We want to reassure the public in counties Carlow, Kilkenny, South Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford that there are very clear pathways set up to make sure that every resident in every nursing home and residential facility 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 want to stress that transfer to acute hospitals is arranged when clinically appropriate and that acute hospitals are there to support all members of the community.”
“All private nursing home and residential care facilities in counties Carlow, Kilkenny, South Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford have been contacted by a member of the local clinical support teams.
"The support offered so far has included Expert advice, Support for management, Public Health guidance, Occupational Health advice, Supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Assistance in sourcing staff where needed 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.