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Coronavirus

07 August, 2020

Advice to service users and visitors in light of coronavirus

In the best interests of the health of all our service users, staff, visitors and the wider public, St Patrick’s Mental Health Services (SPMHS) is currently implementing contingency measures against the potential spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Before visiting our campuses, we would ask that you check back here for any relevant developments or information beforehand. Our campus locations and contact details can be found here.

See our new measures below

  • Who can currently attend our campuses?

    Staff members and service users with a clinical need to be onsite, as advised by their clinician or multidisciplinary team, will be admitted to our campuses.

    Limited visiting to inpatient service users in St Patrick’s University Hospital (SPUH) only will be in place from this date, following the restrictions outlined below.

    Furthermore, following the government announcement on 7 August 2020 of travel restrictions in Kildare, Laois and Offaly in response to outbreaks of COVID-19, residents of these counties may not attend SPUH, St Patrick's, Lucan or Willow Grove Adolescent Unit for the duration of these restrictions. This does not affect individuals from these counties who have been referred for admission for treatment.

  • What visiting restrictions do we have in place?

    Inpatient service users in St Patrick’s University Hospital (SPUH) can welcome a maximum of two people during one visit per week. To ensure everyone’s health and safety, visits must be booked in advance and must meet the requirements below. From 7 August 2020, residents of counties Kildare, Laois and Offaly cannot visit service users in SPUH in line with government restrictions on travel in these counties due to outbreaks of COVID-19.

    Children and young people aged 16 or under may visit, once they are accompanied by an adult who is responsible for their care and for ensuring appropriate conduct during the visit, and once they are compliant with the requirements below.

    Visiting times are restricted to 10am, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm or 6pm daily. After agreeing a day and time that suits for their weekly visit, either the service user or their visitor(s) must book a visiting time by calling our team on 01 249 3602. Unplanned visits cannot be facilitated.

    On the call to book a visit, the service user or their visitor will be asked to give the name of the intending visitor(s) and the service user they will be coming to see. The administrator on the call will give a location in SPUH where the visit will take place, and the person making the call will be asked to remember this.

    If you are visiting a service user, you should arrive to the main reception of SPUH at the scheduled time for your visit. As in the infection control measures outlined in a following question, you will have your temperature taken by a thermal imaging camera on entry and you will be asked to complete a standard COVID-19 screening questionnaire.

    If these screening protocols are passed, the visit can go ahead and you will be given a mask to wear throughout your time on campus by our reception staff.

    You will then be directed by a nurse to the location you will have previously been given.

    Visits may last for up to 45 minutes, after which you will be asked to leave. Please note that no food or drink can be consumed during the visit for health and safety purposes.

    We are very grateful to our service users and their supporters for their patience and understanding with these restrictions, which are in place to best protect everyone’s health.

  • Are children currently allowed to visit?

    Children and young people aged 16 or under may visit, once they are accompanied by an adult who is responsible for their care and for ensuring appropriate conduct during the visit, and once they are compliant with our visiting processes and infection control measures.

  • Can I attend a Dean Clinic appointment or day service programme?

    Our day service programmes and most of our Dean Clinic appointments are now being delivered remotely, so we ask that you do not attend our campuses unless arranged with you to do so.

    If you are a current attendee of our Dean Clinics, you will be contacted about attending your appointment by videolink, keeping the same time and clinician as previously arranged. Instructions on how to take part in the video communications will also be sent to you by email in this case.

    If you have queries about your Dean Clinic appointment, please contact your relevant clinic: you'll find contact details here. An administrator will contact you on the day of your appointment to arrange payment by credit or debit card.

    All day services will now be delivered either online or via telephone. A therapist from your day programme will be in contact with you to advise how to connect. If you have an email address, please have that ready when they contact you.

    If you have any queries about your day service appointment, please contact Orlagh Hurley on 01 249 3571.

  • Can I get referred to your services at this time?

    Yes, we are continuing to accept referrals for our services.

    We understand that, with the current public health challenge, you may experience difficulty in getting an appointment with your GP or you may prefer not to visit your GP surgery. If this is the case, and if you require care and treatment for your mental health, you can contact our Support and Information Line from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, by calling 01 249 3333 or emailing info@stpatsmail.com: our team will be able to assist in processing your referral. If you need immediate mental health support or if you have an urgent query in relation to referrals or treatment outside of these hours, please call 01 249 3200.

    Other referral pathways – such as through your GP, psychiatrist, the Health Service Executive (HSE) and others – are also continuing to operate at this time.

  • Will I be able to be admitted as an inpatient at this time?

    We are continuing to admit inpatient service users.

    In response to the COVID-19 coronavirus, we have introduced a homecare service, consisting of the highest levels of one-to-one support provided remotely to ensure service users receive necessary care and treatment. Through this package, service users will receive daily or more frequent contact, along with psychopharmacological input arranged in liaison with local pharmacies.  Please contact our Support and Information Line for further information or talk to your GP.

    We will only be physically admitting service users whose clinical mental health risk assessment determines that they need to be admitted to hospital. A member of our Referrals and Admissions Service will contact you on the day before your admission, and will carry out a screening protocol against coronavirus. Any risk factors which may be identified will be discussed and considered with a doctor before admission.

  • What infection control measures will I need to follow if I am on campus?

    A number of restrictions on who can attend our campuses remain in place in order to best protect public health. Please check that you can attend our campus before making the journey.

    Everyone on our campuses should follow the guidelines below at all times.

    • Wash your hands thoroughly before you arrive at the campus
    • Use our hand hygiene gels at the entrance and throughout the campus
    • Identify yourself at the reception desk when you arrive
    • Observe hand hygiene and coughing and sneezing etiquette closely, as promoted by the HSE, throughout your time on the campus
      • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing and sneezing
      • dispose your used tissues into a bin
      • wash your hands thoroughly after coughing or sneezing
      • wash hands thoroughly before leaving the hospital.
    • Follow social distancing measures throughout your time on the campus by keeping a distance of at least one, and preferably two, metres from other people and avoiding physical contact.

    Please note that, when you arrive at the reception desk, you will be asked the three questions below: if you answer positively to any of them, we will be unable to permit entry to the campus.

    • Have you returned to Ireland from any other country (other than Northern Ireland) in the past 14 days?
    • Are you a close contact of a confirmed or suspected case in Ireland?
    • Are you experiencing any of the following symptoms: cough; shortness of breath; breathing difficulties; high temperature?

    In addition, a thermal imaging camera has been installed at the main entrance to St Patrick’s University Hospital. This camera will take your temperature as you come into the building. If you have a temperature equal to or greater than 37.5 degrees Celsius or higher, we will not be in a position to allow your entry to the hospital building.

  • Will I be able to attend a volunteer support group meeting?

    No, all volunteer support group meetings, hosted at both St Patrick's University Hospital (SPUH) in Dublin 8 and St Patrick's, Lucan (SPL), have been postponed until further notice. These include Alcoholic Anonymous, LifeRing, Orientation, AL-ANON and ANEW meetings.

The decision to enact these measures reflects that our campuses are very busy working centres, with close to 300 inpatient beds between them, hundreds of people attending programmes and appointments on a daily basis, and more than 700 staff working in these locations. At all times, our team takes every necessary precaution to best protect the health and safety of all who come through our doors.

We have further information on these measures for GPs available here.

Continue to…

Responding to coronavirus: information for GPs