Coronavirus Disease Updates & Resources

Updated: 23/05/2020

Please go to the HSE Coronavirus Disease web page for updates on the virus and what precautions to take.

As COVID-19 progresses, we must prepare for potential service demands beyond anything previously experienced by our health services. Redeployment of employees is one of the core elements of the HSE’s response to COVID-19 infection. As demand for health services increases, the number of employees available may decrease due to staff being absent because of self-isolation or with a COVID-19 diagnosis. Cooperation from all employees is required during this outbreak. The Redeployment of Staff during COVID-19 Infection (PDF, 275KB, 4 pages) policy applies to all HSE employees. This policy has immediate effect. It replaces all previous instructions in operation in the HSE.

A message to all members from Dave Durney

Redeployment of Staff

Hospital groups, community health organisations, and national directors are being asked to identify and document essential and non-essential activities. Non-essential services may need to get cancelled or postponed. Employees working in these areas may be redeployed to assist in essential services. Employees most at risk of contracting COVID-19 in the workplace will be assigned to non-direct contact areas. This includes staff that are:

  • age 60 years or over
  • diagnosed with a long-term medical condition
  • immune suppressed
  • pregnant

Temporary redeployment – clinical roles

COVID-19 has already had an impact on many of our services. We are now calling on employees who have clinical skills, and not currently working in clinical roles, to indicate their willingness to return to a clinical role. This is for the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak, if and when required. All employees who redeploy to clinical roles temporarily will have their current terms and conditions of employment protected. Training and up-skilling will be provided in certain circumstances. You can give us the relevant information by uploading your data on the staff skills page

This data will be used for local and national planning and response.

Payroll

During COVID-19 infection, redeployed employees will get paid by their usual payroll department. The situation regarding COVID-19 will be changing rapidly. Managers and staff should continue to check the HSE coronavirus web pages. Line managers should consult their local HR department for advice. See Policy on Redeployment of Staff during COVID-19 Infection (PDF, 275KB, 4 pages)

Forsa

Fórsa is the second largest union on the island of Ireland and by far the largest trade union voice in the Irish civil and public service. Fórsa represents members in the public service, as well as the commercial sector, state agencies, some private companies and in the community and voluntary sector. CLICK HERE

Return to Practice

As you know, we are facing unprecedented demand on healthcare services in the coming weeks and months due to the Covid 19 virus. The National HSCP Office is working with other functions in HSE to address this crisis. Our focus is on supporting HSCP on the frontline to ensure that the professions who are most needed are available in sufficient numbers. We are predominantly focused on Medical Scientists, Radiographers/Sonographers, Dietitians, Physiotherapists, Speech and Language Therapists, Social Workers, Social Care Workers, Occupational Therapists and Psychologists in the first instance. The National HSCP office is working with CORU and HR in relation to Be On Call for Ireland.

HSE Covid19 communications materials.

This link has some YouTube videos on hand hygiene for adults and children. Hand hygiene poster 

HSEland Online Learning and Development

HSeLanD provides a central source of high-quality online training and learning and development opportunities that enables staff to develop new personal and professional skills, update and refresh existing skills and enables them to take responsibility for their own learning interventions. Sign up to Hseland, On the main toolbar course categories, has up to date training on Personal Protective Equipment and infection control for Covid-19.

Health Services Executive Library                                                                                                                                                                          The HSE has a library on the main toolbar under evidence informed healthcare, drop down Covid19 Resources has lots of useful information for HSCP’s. CLICK HERE. It includes advice and guidance for health care workers. 

Health & Social Care Professionals eHealth   

The HSCP office have set up another resource you can avail of it is been updated regularly and they actively seek your engagement. In this, the first in a series of eHealth-related blogs, we will set out the starting point for those of you currently grappling with deploying this complex service change at speed and, in particular, we will explore teleHealth considerations. These unprecedented times  require disruptive thinking and innovation. CLICK HERE 

UCC practice links online magazine offering this support to managers
The School of Applied Social Studies (social work) at UCC has been supporting front-line managers and practitioners in the last 10 days with queries about how to shift some of their activities online (teams meetings, supervision, training, etc.). In response to the volume of queries, we have created the following free resource that may be of assistance to you. Feel free to share widely. The Padlet is open access and you can also add your own resources directly onto the Padlet CLICK HERE 

Mental Health Ireland 

We recently shared five simple actions we can all take to protect our mental health and maintain positive wellbeing during uncertain and challenging times. The Five Ways to Wellbeing

Our current circumstances regarding Covid-19 has brought out the absolute very best in Irish people and their willingness to volunteer and to help whatever way possible.  However, it’s very important for volunteers to create balance in such willingness in relation to minding their physical, mental and social wellbeing. MINDING YOUR MENTAL HEALTH AS A VOLUNTEER

We also worked with Alcohol Action Ireland to share some advice to help people understand the risks of turning to alcohol during these tough times. HEALTHY COPING TOOLS THAT WILL LAST BEYOND COVID19

The Wheel 

We are Ireland’s national association of community and voluntary organisations, charities and social enterprises. We are a registered charity in Ireland and are unique in our role as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for anything related to the charity and nonprofit sector.Following the announcement of new COVID-19 emergency measures on Friday evening (27 March), a new national initiative has kicked off to link and support the work of thousands of community and voluntary organisations who are responding to meet the needs of the most vulnerable people in our communities, including people who are advised to ‘cocoon’. CLICK HERE

Inclusion Ireland 

Inclusion Ireland, the National Organisation for People with Intellectual Disability, will be issuing a newsletter on a weekly basis that is specific to issues arising for individuals and family members during this time of isolation. If you would like to receive this weekly newsletter please let me know and I will subscribe you, send an email into info@inclusionireland.ie. Infomation on COVID19 in easy read CLICK HERE

Supports for Tusla staff

Tusla have provided information and advice for their staff which can be found at https://www.tusla.ie/staff/covid-19-information-and-advice-for-tusla-staff/ There is plenty of information here that will be helpful to social workers in other settings.

Tusla – Child and Family Agency continues to provide key services across core areas that support children and families at risk during COVID-19. Tusla staff around the country are continuing to provide essential frontline services that cannot be delivered remotely. However in line with public health advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) and instruction from an Taoiseach, the majority of our 3,800 mobile enabled staff are working remotely and playing their part in keeping children, families, and themselves safe, whilst playing their part in flattening the curve and slowing the spread of COVID-19. CLICK HERE.

The Health and Wellbeing department wish to acknowledge the work of our colleagues who continue to provide services to children and families in these difficult times. As always we appreciate hearing from you and look forward to featuring your contributions in the next edition of the Health and Wellbeing Bulleting. Email us on eap@tusla.ie  Health & Wellbeing Bulletin Spring 2020

Data Protection when online

Video conferencing; Cisco/ Webex. Security: 2 factor authentication with end to end encryption ▪ Service: this is a multifunctional desktop/ laptop video and audio conferencing call application. Can use a phone App also. Can share presentations also. https://www.webex.com/go-covid19.html

WhatsApp Security: End-to-end encrypted. Service: messages, voice and video calls. Best not to share personal data/ patient identifiable info or discuss condition related issues by WhatsApp messages. Messages about Appointments are ok.  Interim measures with regard to the restricted use of WhatsApp from Tusla.

Skype for Business Security: Encrypted using the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256-bit encryption. Service: Skype to Skype voice and video calls/conferencing, instant messages, file transfers. Best not to share personal data/ patient identifiable info or discuss condition related issues by Skype messages. Messages about Appointments are ok.

Zoom Security: Users are given an individual login and password, encrypted using AES 256-bit encryption. Service: web based video conferencing tool. Can be used on desktop/ laptop or phone App. It is possible to record sessions though this is not recommended and would require Service User consent. 40 minute call max on basic package. Note Set up through your email account, do not set up through Facebook not encrypted.

Facetime Security: end to end encryption. Service: video calls tool for IOS users. Not available to android users.

Phone/Text Telephone calls are the mode of communication that is most familiar to the Service User and usually less subject to misinterpretation. Best not to share personal data/ patient identifiable info or discuss condition related issues by Text messages. Messages about Appointments are ok. Phone consultations may be needed if it’s not possible to set up a video conference call.

Supports for working with Children and Families 

Advice and information for children and young people struggling to understand what is happening and how to cope is available from the Ombudsman for Children’s Office at www.oco.ie. The parenting unit of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs has compiled a comprehensive directory of online resources, which can be found here.

In addition, the Children and Young People Services Committees have great tips and links for children’s wellbeing while we work together to stay safe and well. Some examples of how they are communicating Covid19 information in their communities can be found here.

The Children’s Rights Alliance website will also be updated with links and information with regard to the resources that our members have created and are available to all Barnardos’ have launched a dedicated telephone and email support service to provide advice to parents on a wide range of issues that may have come up during this time. This service will be staffed by Barnardos project workers who are trained professionals. You can make contact with this service by phoning 1800 910 123 between 10.00am and 2.00pm Monday to Friday or by emailing parentsupport@barnardos.ie. Some resources to support children and adults around anxiety, worry, stress, and fears; including specific Covid (updated on a very regular basis)

http://www.safehandsthinkingminds.co.uk/covid-anxiety-stress-resources-links/

Resources for talking with children about Coronavirus can be found at  https://www.childrenscommissioner.gov.uk/coronavirus/

Support for Foster Carers

Online mindfulness sessions for IFCA members. Niamh Barrett is a mindfulness teacher who has been facilitating mindfulness-based interventions since 2010. At IFCA she’s the Learning and Development Co-ordinator. She is offering mindfulness meditation sessions for foster carers, as a resource and source of support and has put together a short introduction video here. If you have any questions for Niamh you can contact her on email on niamh.barrett@ifca.ie

Legislation & Courts

Notice for practitioners and members of the public requiring services from court offices in respect of criminal, family law and civil law business effective from 30th March 2020.

https://beta.courts.ie/news/notice-practitioners-and-members-public-requiring-services-court-offices-respect-criminal

The Mental Health Commission have introduced several changes to help simplify their regulatory and tribunals processes at this time. Detail on these changes can be found at https://www.mhcirl.ie/About_Us/Covid-19/Covid-19.html

This comprehensive hub has been developed by the Family Law Clinic, UCC School of Law and provides details of local and national resources regarding access to justice, courts and state supports services, domestic violence, children in care, financial support and other related family law matters. See https://www.ucc.ie/en/covid19familylaw/

Supports for Older People

ALONE https://alone.ie/

Age Action https://www.ageaction.ie/

ALONE have an information booklet to support work with older people concerned about Covid-19. You can download it at  https://www.iasw.ie/covid-19

Alzheimer National Helpline has a free Dementia Nurse and Dementia Adviser call-back service to deal with increased need during COVID-19 crisis . Open Monday to Friday 10am–5pm and Saturday 10am–4pm on 1800 341 341.

Wellbeing Initiatives

  • Age & Opportunity have plenty of resources to support older people during the pandemic. (Call  (0)1 805 7709 for more info)
  • #InThisTogetherTogether National Initiatives: local authorities are developing, supporting and expanding wellbeing initiatives during COVID 19.
  • Fitness 15:  daily 15 minutes of exercise on RTÉ One at 2.20pm Monday to Friday

Access to Technology for Older People

  • The Age Action Getting Started KIT materials supports older people to learn, use, and be confident using smartphones and applications so they can keep in touch with their loved ones during the Covid-19 pandemic. The material can be downloaded here or older people can call 01 8730372 leave their name and address and Age Action will post the How to Guides within 10 days.
  • COVID-19 Tech (01-9633288) Volunteer tech helpline for older people cocooning in Ireland.
  • Vodafone have launched a new Tech Advice/Smart Phone support line for older people. (01) 8731166, open Mon- fri 9am to 6pm