WATCH: New measures for protection of patients and staff at Cancer Services in Limerick hospital

A number of important measures have been introduced for the safety of patients and staff at the Cancer Services Department in University Hospital Limerick (UHL), including additional screening and temperature checks for patients, and reconfiguration of waiting areas, treatment areas and office space to guarantee safe physical distancing.

The new measures at the Department are in line with the guidance of the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP), and form part of the UL Hospitals Group’s strategy for management of the safe resumption and delivery of services across all its hospital sites.

For the patient, the process now begins the day before an appointment, with a telephone call from a member of the hospital’s Cancer Services team to assess the patient’s well-being, and to check for any possible COVID-19 symptoms, including high temperature, coughing and runny nose, shortness of breath, changes in taste, and generally feeling unwell.

When the patient arrives at UHL the next day for their appointment, they are asked to wear a face covering, and ring the Cancer Information & Support Centre from the car park, and be triaged over the phone. Staff will use the same COVID-19 screening checklist as the day before, to ensure there has been no change in the patient’s condition.

After this phone triage is complete, the patient, wearing their face covering, will enter the Cancer Information & Support Centre for a manual temperature check. If the temperature reading is normal, the patient will then go to the Mid-Western Cancer Centre, where their temperature is checked once more by the new Thermal Temperature Scanner at reception, before starting their treatment as normal.

“All of these measures have been introduced to keep our patients and our staff safe at this time,” said Aine Collins, Clinical Nurse Manager in Cancer Services, UHL. “We are grateful to the public in the Mid-West for their cooperation with public health guidelines during the pandemic, and thank them for their continued support in this.”

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