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St Vincent's Hospital starts recruiting for healthcare workers to meet rising demand amid coronavirus outbreak

Some posts will be filled immediately.

Image: RollingNews.ie

ST VINCENT’S HOSPITAL in Dublin has said that it is seeking expressions of interests from healthcare workers to meet the rising demand in a number of areas following the national outbreak of Covid-19.

This morning, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar orders schools, colleges and childcare facilities from 6pm this evening to close to prevent spread of coronavirus, an “unprecedented” and “drastic” move to attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The government is also advising against indoor gatherings of over 100 people and against outdoor gatherings of over 500 people. 

Health Minister Simon Harris said that he had received advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) which “came by a letter” last night.

The letter recommends that Ireland move to the delay phase based on “a significant increase” in recent days in cases detected, a number of ICU hospitalisations, a death, “a number of clusters of infection” including two hospitals, and reports of community transmission.

This afternoon, St Vincent’s said all areas of the hospital will require support as the situation continues. 

The types of staff required are:

  • Medical (all grades and specialities)
  • Nurses and healthcare assistants (all grades and specialities)
  • Support staff
  • Administrative staff 

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Professor Patrick Mallon, consultant in infectious diseases at St Vincent’s Hospital, said some open positions will be filled immediately to meet current plans.

The hospital will compile a list of interested parties so that they are prepared if they need to expand recruitment as the situation with the outbreak evolves. 

“There is no doubt that we will need to find additional staff judging by the way the situation has evolved in other parts of the world,” he said.

“Staff get sick, they get fatigued, unfortunately they come into contact with cases and have to be removed for a period of time for their own safety and the safety of others.”

Professor Mallon said last week in his professional and social circles, people had already been asking him how they could help and now the hospital has provided a mechanism for people to offer their support. 

“It’s a platform to let the public engage with us and get all hands on deck – we won’t necessarily need everyone but we want to be prepared.”

The hospital, like others, is undergoing a major reconfiguration in terms of how it operates, separating assessment and treatment of suspected and confirmed Covid-19 cases from the normal operation of the hospital. 

“We’re moving to a model where we nearly have two hospitals alongside one another.

When we do that, we’re really looking at increasing your overall workload so we will need more people.

When asked what the atmosphere at the hospital was like, Mallon said:

“I’ve never worked in an atmosphere like this ever, there is a huge amount of congeniality here, a huge amount of support and everyone is working together right through the hospital, everyone pulling their weight. It’s an absolute pleasure to behold when you see that response. 

“Although we know will have a rough couple of weeks, and may end up with a huge number of very fatigued and stressed staff, everyone is pulling together.”

Interested parties can contact the hospital by emailing prepare@svuh.ie with a short CV, contact details and areas of expertise.

Names will be added to a list and will be called upon if needed.

- With reporting by Seán Murray.  

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