17 April 2020
By Elaine Murphy
Oaklodge Nursing Home in Cloyne, East County Cork has welcomed the HSE’s announcement that there is to be a redeployment of health care staff to private nursing homes during the COVID-19 crisis.
It coincides with their own temporary recruitment drive. Oaklodge has put a call out to caring and passionate people who may have lost their jobs or been put on reduced contracts to consider stepping up to help care for the elderly over the coming months.
As of today (17 April), the nursing home, which specialises in care for those living with dementia, has seen no cases of Coronavirus, due to stringent measures that were put in place following the HSE’s Nursing Homes Infection Control Measures announced in January.
While they currently have a full complement of staff, they are looking to create a panel for future positions that may be required over the coming months, including health care assistants, registered nurses, housekeepers, food service assistants, and activity providers.
During the Coronavirus pandemic, Oaklodge is offering staff numerous additional benefits, including free dinners, thermometers, and training, such as competent use of PPE. In addition, transport and accommodation is being subsidised, and fully compliant staff who are also voluntarily cocooning will get a bonus payment. The nursing home has also staggered rosters and all breaks are in isolation to ensure the safety of staff.
In addition to planning for the current crisis, construction is also expected to start on the Home’s new multi-million-euro Memory Care Village later this year. Located on the 10-acre grounds in East Cork, adjacent to the current nursing home, the innovative village will double the bed capacity at Oaklodge and will include a spa, gym, hair salon, post office and art studio for those with dementia and Alzheimers. When it opens in 2021, it will create an additional 55 jobs.
Commenting on the recruitment drive, Diarmuid Ó Dálaigh, owner of Oaklodge Nursing Home, said. “COVID-19 presents unparalleled challenges for nursing home staffing throughout the country and we whole-heartedly welcome the HSE’s announcement this week that public health care staff will be redeployed to private nursing homes.
“Thankfully we have not seen any COVID-19 cases to date as a result of the stringent measures we have in place, but we cannot be complacent and must forward-plan to ensure the safety and best quality care possible for our residents should it infiltrate into our home.
“We are therefore putting a call out for registered nurses, in addition to unskilled caring and compassionate people that may want a career change or find themselves out of work following the outbreak of COVID-19.
“In addition to these temporary positions that may be required over the coming months, we will also be doubling our workforce next year when our new Memory Care Centre opens, so we hope to create a panel for future positions.”
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