Mid West health workers asked to safeguard vulnerable patients

Bernard Gloster HSE
Bernard Gloster who has been appointed chief executive of the HSE.

The HSE Mid West Community Healthcare is asking its employees to take particular steps to reduce risk to the public who use their services this winter.

In a letter to all staff in the HSE Mid West Community Healthcare area, Chief Officer Bernard Gloster asks that they maintain a special focus on three main priorities.

The first is the global message to be winter ready for which there is a very practical national website.

The second is the simple but critical message for staff to wash their hands to prevent the transmission of so-called ‘super bugs’.

The third is for staff not only get the flu vaccine but to voluntarily disclose to their line manager even if they haven’t.  This will help greatly in understanding uptake but also in risk assessment should an outbreak occur.

HSE Mid West Community Healthcare provides all front line primary care services, all services to older people and those with a disability, all services to those requiring mental health input and a range of health protection and wellbeing services.  The services operate throughout Limerick, Clare and North Tipperary.

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Commenting on the letter, Bernard Gloster said “Put simply we provide care through thousands of interactions every day with people at home, in our health centres and in our public care facilities such as older people’s community hospitals.  Many of those people are health compromised or vulnerable.

“If we are not on our game by protecting them through the basics of things like washing our hands, then the reality is we are putting them at real risk.  Winter simply adds to the context of risk in many ways and so this year I am appealing directly to each individual staff member to reflect on these messages, “ he said.

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