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'Completely compliant': HSE defends sending student nurses to work in badly-hit care home during first wave

HSE acknowledged the work done by staff in St Mary’s Hospital during the first wave of the pandemic.

Image: Rollingnews.ie

THE HSE HAS said that having student nurses work in a North Dublin care home during the first wave of the pandemic was “completely compliant” with HSE protocol at the time.

In a statement this afternoon, the HSE acknowledged the work done by staff in St Mary’s Hospital and said that student nurses were assigned to the facility after volunteering to work as part of a public health emergency response.

“The HSE would like to acknowledge the incredible role that all staff in St Mary’s Hospital have played during COVID-19, including student nurses who chose to work in partnership with other healthcare workers, and under the supervision of nursing staff,” said a spokesperson for the HSE.

Records of crisis HSE meetings, originally reported by the Sunday Independent, show that student nurses and midwives worked night shifts and covered for healthcare workers who were sick or self-isolating with the virus.

Students were hired as Health Care Assistants and got temporary payment on the Health Care Assistant Scale.

Some students were deployed at St Mary’s Hospital in North Dublin, one of the worst impacted care homes in the country, where 24 residents died of Covid-19 in April and May.

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HSE Community Healthcare Organisation Dublin North City and County thanked the student nurses who volunteered to work at the height of the pandemic. 

“Their dedication, hard work and contribution was and continues to be of great benefit to residents and the wider team,” they said in a statement.

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