Statement from Cork Kerry Community Healthcare:
Cork Kerry Community Healthcare wishes to advise the public that there will continue to be a significant impact on services today, although staff are doing their utmost keep essential services running.
There will be significant challenges for the delivery of services in the coming days and we again thank the public for their understanding and patience.
As previously confirmed, all non-essential clinics and appointments are cancelled across Cork and Kerry today.
Tremendous efforts are being made to ensure that some public health nurses and home support visits go ahead, however it will not be possible to make every call we would like to.
We’d like to repeat some of the advice issued earlier in the week.
This includes asking people, where it is safe to do so, to check on older neighbours and vulnerable people in the community. We’d also like to remind people of the advice on www.winterready.ie/en/guides/health in dealing with cold weather. This include the advice to:
· Stay indoors.
· Keep at least one room heated to 18 degrees.
· Eat well and keep active.
· Be mindful of risk of slips, trips and falls.
We thank staff who have been working over the past few days, and also thank the other agencies who have enabled them to make it to the most vulnerable, including local authorities, the Defence Forces and the voluntary emergency services.
Some the examples of staff going above and beyond in recent days include:
– 51 staff have slept at Clonakilty Community Hospital yesterday and last night, having gotten there thanks to the efforts of volunteers and the voluntary defence services. Some staff and management have been on site since Tuesday evening.
– In community houses for people with disabilities outside Youghal, staff have stayed over well past their rostered shift to make sure residents are safe.
– Also in Youghal, staff have stayed overnight at St Raphael’s centre.
– Staff from community hospitals in Cahersiveen, Schull, Killarney, Listowel and Tralee have stayed in local hotels so that they can work extra shifts to cover colleagues who couldn’t make it to work.
– In all facilities, staff living close to community hospitals and residential facilities have offered to come in and cover their colleagues who would be travelling distances.
– Public health nurses and home helps have made urgent calls yesterday and will make a limited number of priority calls again today, with the help of Defence Forces and the voluntary emergency services.
– Medical and nursing staff working in acute and residential mental health facilities across Cork and Kerry stayed onsite and overnight in local hotels so that they can be brought to work yesterday and today, coming in hours earlier than they were rostered to, and staying later than their shift to ensure safe service provision at all times.
These are just some examples of the lengths staff have gone to in recent days.
Chief Officer of Cork Kerry Community Healthcare Ger Reaney said the response of staff had been exceptional.
“Staff have worked in exceptionally difficult circumstances in recent days. Many staff in community hospitals and residential centres have come in early and slept on site. Home helps and public health nurses have been able to make priority calls in extremely challenging conditions, thanks to the help of the Defence Forces and voluntary emergency services. The dedication of our staff has helped us to support some of the most vulnerable members of the community. There are countless examples of this level of commitment and dedication, and I’d like to thank staff for their exceptional efforts,” he said.
· All updates about HSE services, local and national, will appear on hse.ie/weatherwarning
· Winterready.ie has useful advice on how to deal with the current weather conditions.