STAFF at several hospitals in West Cork have been praised for their dedication to their profession during Storm Emma, with many staying onsite over the last number of days to ensure they could be at work.
At Clonakilty Community Hospital, 51 staff stayed there yesterday and last night to ensure that operations ran smoothly. Carol McCann, director of Nursing at the hospital said that in her 14 years of working at Clonakilty Community Hospital this was the first time that staff had to stay over there.
‘We made up mattresses and a few beds for them that we had in stock and they were all happy to stay over,’ Carol told The Southern Star. ‘We contacted the Valentia Coast Guard too and gave them the addresses to staff who live all over West Cork and they were able to bring them into work and bring others home.’
Carol also praised six local men who volunteered to bring staff into the hospital in their jeeps, who she described as ‘being absolutely fantastic’ and she thanked Deputy Jim Daly who co-ordinated that, and it meant that she had all the night and day staff in by 4pm yesterday for work today.
‘I have to say the staff have been absolutely fantastic and they responded so well. We had some staff in a local hotel since Tuesday night but it was difficult to transport them up from there,’ added Carol.
For now, Carol is trying to get some of the staff home today and bring in the new staff who are due to work over the weekend with the help once again of Valentia Coast Guard and the local volunteers.
Staff at Schull Community Hospital took it upon themselves on Wednesday night to organise nearby accommodation to the hospital during Storm Emma. And some even organised their own transport, including Ciara Tooher, who got a spin in a tractor from Pat Bob.
‘In fairness they went and booked into one of the holiday homes next to the school and they were able to walk to the hospital, with some being there since Wednesday night,’ said Paddy Ryan, director of nursing at Schull and Skibbereen Community Hospital.
‘Some of them are local and those who can’t get home stay there. It’s working great and the dedication of the staff in the hospital is unbelievable and their commitment to the residents is second to none.’
Local TD Michael Collins also commended the staff there who he said got to work by any means possible to care for the elderly in the hospital.
Several staff from Skibbereen Community Hospital have also been staying in the West Cork Hotel since Wednesday night.
‘They are being looked after very well and are being transported to the hospital by members of the local Civil Defence, who I must add have been outstanding too. I must also praise the level of commitment by the hospital staff which has been unbelievable.’
Meanwhile, Dr Jason van der Welde of West Cork Rapid Response had an emergency call-out to an expectant mother in the Old Head of Kinsale during treacherous weather conditions last night.
Conditions were so bad that members of the local Civil Defence team were called out to assist as the ambulance could not reach the woman’s home and they had to go on foot in the end.
The woman was eventually taken to CUH but did not give birth yet.