“As the nation again comes to terms with the Level 5 restrictions and the challenges presented by them, we believe that healthcare providers have a continued duty and responsibility to encourage the public to adhere to the recommended public health guidelines,” Gerry O’Dwyer, the CEO and Prof. Geraldine McCarthy, the Chair of the South/South West Hospital Group, have said in a message to staff.
“We would also like to thank each of you individually and as a collective for the work you have carried out to keep our communities safe and to protect the vulnerable from the COVID 19 virus. We must continue our efforts as a workforce and as a community to drive down the rate of the virus spread.
“We all have a role to play in the provision of essential services in this region and in our day-to-day lives. It is essential that these new restrictions have a successful impact so that we can get back to a lower level of restrictions as soon as possible.
“The past number of months have not been easy for anyone and as people working on the frontline of our healthcare service, who see the daily impact of the virus and the effects it has had on our country and its people you understand the difficulties that lie ahead if we as a community do not adhere to the new level of restrictions.
“To ensure the safety of our communities, and to ensure that our vulnerable are protected, it is a matter of on-going urgency that we adhere to the advice of public health experts. As frontline workers, you know the importance of compliance with the recommended guidelines, and because of the respected role you have you will be listened to by others when it comes to adhering to public health advice. This includes restricting movements, hand washing, wearing masks in public spaces, being aware of and recognising COVID 19 symptoms, and taking the appropriate course of action if symptoms present themselves.
“A key objective is to ensure that our hospitals are not overwhelmed by the numbers presenting to them. It is in the interest of all staff, and the public, that this is accomplished. However, this will require further buy-in from the public, who have already had to endure hardships as a result of this pandemic and the resulting restrictions.
“We would ask that you actively encourage those you encounter in your daily lives to adhere closely to the current guidelines at all times, in order to ensure their safety and that of their loved ones.
“The coming weeks will not be easy for anyone. We hope that the spirit of solidarity and empathy, which we have been proud to witness for so much of this year, continues to shine through at every level of society.
“Please continue to adhere to the precautions necessary to ensure your safety and the safety of your patients, and colleagues in the workplace. Please also continue to support each other, and very importantly, to seek help when necessary.
“Thank you all for the continued hard work, dedication and excellent level of care you have displayed during what has been a very difficult period.
“The success the staff across the S/SWHG had in curbing the spread of the virus earlier this year, and the excellent quality of care that we have witnessed in our hospitals because of your dedication and commitment gives us hope for the future.”