Soldiers and additional HSE staff deployed to help in nursing homes amid 'challenging' time for sector 

Soldiers and additional HSE staff deployed to help in nursing homes amid 'challenging' time for sector 

Cork Kerry Community Healthcare has said that it is supporting residents of a significant number of private nursing homes where there are currently outbreaks of Covid-19.

Soldiers are being deployed to assist staff at nursing homes in two locations in Cork, while additional HSE staff have also been deployed to a private nursing home in Cork.

Cork Kerry Community Healthcare has said that it is supporting residents of a significant number of private nursing homes where there are currently outbreaks of Covid-19.

“The level of this support varies, but we can confirm that we have redeployed HSE staff to a nursing home in Cork. We are in constant contact with the nursing home, and our Covid-19 response team is providing ongoing support,” a spokesperson said.

They described maintaining staffing as “one of the main challenges during an outbreak” and said that the level of staff ill or on leave due to Covid-19 “is a very real challenge in private nursing homes, in community hospitals and across the entire health system”.

Meanwhile, the Irish Mirror revealed on Sunday that a total of 25 members of the Defence Forces were being sent to nursing homes in both Cork and Clare.

The deployment of soldiers came following a request from the HSE. The soldiers have been sent to nursing homes in Ballincollig and Douglas, as well as Ennis.

A spokesperson for the Defence Forces said: “Following a request for the HSE, Óglaigh na hÉireann have deployed over 25 soldiers to nursing homes in Ballincollig and Douglas in County Cork and in Ennis, County Clare.

“These soldiers, based in Collins Barracks Cork, will be deployed daily over the coming weeks to assist nursing home staff with non-clinical general duties.” 

A Cork Kerry Community Healthcare spokesperson added: “We have requested the assistance of the Defence Forces in providing support around cleaning and waste disposal at nursing homes. Throughout the pandemic, we have been in ongoing contact with the Defence Forces and other state agencies, and we are grateful for their ongoing support.

“The support of the Defence Forces means that our nurses and healthcare assistants will be able to focus on the care of residents and patients.

“However, we still require more staff, particularly nurses and/or healthcare assistants. Any nurses and healthcare assistants who are not currently involved in direct care of patients or residents and who are available can contact Chief Officer Michael Fitzgerald on MichaelM.Fitzgerald@hse.ie.”

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