HSE management in Cork have issued a message of thanks to the public for their support of healthcare staff during the Covid-19 crisis.
Management from Cork Kerry Community Healthcare, the South/South West Hospital Group, the Department of Public Health and the National Ambulance Service said the action of the people of Cork in recent weeks will save lives.
They said that the public’s adherence to the restrictions that are in place have given services in the county vital time to prepare.
An area crisis management team with representatives of all HSE services has been meeting several times a week since early February to put in place extensive preparations for the impact of Covid-19 on services.
These preparations include increasing bed capacity across the entire healthcare system; putting in place arrangements to open self-isolation facilities should they be needed; establishing four testing centres across the region; supporting community response forums set up by local authorities; planning to provide community assessment hubs; and working with private hospitals to increase bed capacity.
Chief Officer of Cork Kerry Community Healthcare, Ger Reaney, who chairs the HSE’s area crisis management team said:
“We have seen a huge redeployment of staff across our services, and our staff have risen to this challenge as they move to screening centres; from desk jobs back to ward duties; and increase their working hours where they can. Their efforts will help us to provide care for the people of Cork/Kerry.”
“We thank the people of Cork for their support at this time. That support takes many different forms, and it means so much to our hard-working staff. In particular, we want to thank everyone who has helped a healthcare work with childcare, as every extra hour that you can facilitate a staff member to work is a huge help.”
CEO of the South/South West Hospital Group Gerry O’Dwyer said: “We thank and commend all our staff for their incredible efforts at this time. They have already gone above and beyond the call of duty as our health service faces extraordinary demands.
“I am immensely proud of all our staff as they rise to meet the unprecedented challenge posed by Covid-19. I want to thank all staff for the inspiring work being carried out in making advanced preparations.
"Every effort has been made prior to this virus arriving in Ireland to ensure that we would be as ready as we could be in the circumstances and in the best possible position to protect and safeguard public health.”