Hospital Heroes

By Mary Dennehy

AS MEMBERS of the community unite in supporting and protecting the staff at Tallaght University Hospital, medical teams right across the health facility unite to support and protect us.

This week, the “committment and dedication” of staff across all areas of the hospital has been acknowledged by Lucy Nugent, the CEO of TUH.

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Tallaght Hospital

In a statement to The Echo, Ms Nugent said: “I am very proud of TUH and how we have galvanised into action to deal with this latest challenge.”

Teams across the hospital are adapting and working hard to develop new ways of supporting patients, which include virtual clinics for some OPD [Out Patient Department] appointments.

A sample of some of the innovative, patient-focused work being carried out includes one of the largest clinics in the hospital, the diabetes service, now being deliverd by telephone.

Similar to other services, Dermatology medical staff are also starting to run telephone clinics and nurses are available by phone to provide guidance and advice on patient queries.

The vascular service has also set up an off-site, nurse-led clinic where urgent or acute patients can be seen while the gerontological intervention team has gathered information for exercise, mental health and available supports for patients.

The Pastoral Care Service is now also being delivered through virtual visits to patients, especially for those who are isolated.

The video call “TUH Chat with a Chaplain” can be accessed through a mobile phone or by email, with the pastoral team remaining on site and providing a 24/7 service.

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Tallaght University Hospital staff social distancing during a video

ICT teams, stroke services, radiography and more are all among the departments going above and beyond to support the hospital, its patients and the wider community as frontline staff work through the challenges presented by the coronavirus crisis.

In relation to pandemic preparation, a hospital spokesperson said: “From early on it was clear that there would be an increased need for Critical Care equipment, particularly for respiratory and dialysis treatment.

“In preparation for this all available ventilation and dialysis equipment has been serviced and made ready for use.

“This together with the use of ventilation equipment from theatre leaves the Hospital with an increase in ventilation capacity.”

This work is carried out by the Medical Physics & Clinical Engineering team at TUH, which has also been working with Finance and Procurement in the purchase of a substantial quantity of additional ventilators, dialysis machines, patient monitors and all necessary ancillary devices.

As stressed by the hospital, the above is a sample of the work being done across the hopsital as staff prepare for Covid-19 and continue to care compassionately for their patients.

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