General Information

HSE The Health Services Change Guide

The Health Services Change Guide is a step by step guide that will help you to lead and bring about change. It features helpful and practical advice from practitioners, leaders, service users and staff. You will also find evidence to back-up the approach. This Change Guide works as part of our Human Resource and other service, quality improvement and culture change programmes. In line with our Health Services People Strategy 2019-2024 all of these programmes are bringing us closer to our goal of delivering person centred care and public value

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All you need to know about Zoom Meetings

These are helpful tutorials to help you set up on-line  meetings via ZOOM Click Here:

Minister for Health announces influenza vaccines to be made available without charge to all children aged 2-12 and all risk groups

Minister for Health Simon Harris TD has today announced his intention to extend the influenza vaccine to children without charge. Minister Harris confirmed all of those in the HSE-defined at-risk groups, aged from 6 months to 69 years inclusive will also be available to access the vaccine without charge. All persons aged over 70 already have access without charges. The vaccination will be available to all children aged from 2 to 12 years inclusive. Click Here:

HSE HPSC cautions to be aware and prepare to prevent Legionnaires’ Disease

Published: May 18, 2020

The HSE Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) has urged people to be aware of Legionnaires’ Disease, a type of pneumonia which causes serious illness in people aged over 50 years, smokers, and those with underlying health conditions. Legionnaires’ Disease and the milder form, Pontiac fever, a flu-like illness, are caused by the growth of Legionella bacteria in water systems which are not adequately managed.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many buildings have been closed, or their use restricted. This can increase the risk of Legionella growth in the water systems and associated equipment including evaporative air conditioning systems, water fountains, showers, spa pools, and other equipment if the water systems have not been managed adequately.

The illness is acquired by the inhalation of aerosolised water contaminated with Legionella bacteria. The case fatality rate (rate of deaths associated with Legionnaires’ disease) is about 10%. The incubation period for Legionnaires’ Disease is usually about 2-10 days with symptoms appearing 5-6 days after infection but may take longer. The illness usually starts with flu-like symptoms including fever, tiredness, headache, and muscle pains. This is followed by a dry cough and breathing difficulties that may progress to a severe pneumonia.
It is very important that during this pandemic and in particular, before reopening occurs that all water systems are kept safe for the future health and safety of guests, visitors and staff

https://www.hpsc.ie/news/title-19890-en.html

HPSC Occupational Health

The interim guidance document aims to outline the role of Occupational Health in preparing for and managing potential COVID-19 exposures. Click Here:

Use of Gloves when shopping

There is no need to use gloves when shopping or outdoors to protect against Covid-19, the Health Service Executive has advised. Although the use of disposable and other types of gloves has become a common sight during the pandemic, the HSE is recommending against their use.

“We do not recommend using gloves while doing your shopping or when you are out and about,” says Prof Martin Cormican, HSE national lead for infection control.

“If there are bugs on your gloves those bugs often end up on your hands when you take the gloves off and from there, they can very easily end up in your mouth, nose and eyes

 The Faculty of Radiologists Statement on COVID-19 Management in Radiology Departments

The purpose of this statement is to provide advice to the Irish radiology community regarding the management of COVID-19 patients in their departments. The recommendations included in this document are subject to change given the rapid evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic

RSCI Interventional Article

Virtual Health

The COVID-19 pandemic presents significant challenges for the delivery of health services; both in terms of the continuity of standard care, and in the provision of services specifically tailored to address the pandemic. Given the emphasis placed on ensuring social distancing where possible in the community, and as part of efforts to reduce the transmission of the coronavirus to healthcare workers, solutions to allow clinical consultations take place remotely using videoconferencing are required.

For further information Click Here:

HSE Update Healthcare workers that can get temporary accommodation

All healthcare workers can apply for temporary accommodation.

This includes staff in:

  • HSE
  • community healthcare
  • Section 38 and 39 organisations including voluntary hospital staff
  • National Ambulance Service
  • private nursing homes
  • long-term disability and mental health residential facilities

As a healthcare worker, you can apply for temporary accommodation if you:

  • live with family members that are self-isolating and you cannot return home
  • live with vulnerable persons
  • require emergency accommodation due to urgent response or mitigating factors
  • require accommodation in order to facilitate rosters
  • share accommodation where you are at an increased risk of getting or spreading COVID-19 (this does not include couples or co-habiting family members who normally live together)
  • returned from overseas and are contracted to work and require accommodation
  • live in congregated domestic living arrangements, for example, a hostel, a direct provision centre

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Video fluoroscopy Survey

Project title: Video fluoroscopy for assessment of swallowing problems: a survey to understand current practice Professor Julie Nightingale/ Liz Boaden

The University of Central Lancashire and Sheffield Hallam University are conducting a survey of Radiographers and Radiologists who have experience of working in VFSS imaging procedures (Videofluoroscopy of Swallowing) in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. The survey is part of a wider programme of research and will provide us with an understanding of how VFSS is currently practised. This information, along with our existing review of VFSS national guidelines, will inform the design of a new, best practice guideline for VFSS, with the aim of benefitting both patients and health care professionals.

VF Current Practice Survey

HSCP Share Blog from Kate Murphy, Radiographer St Luke’s Hospital Kilkenny

I can distinctly recall the date of the first Covid-19 patient that was admitted to St. Luke’s Hospital in Kilkenny. Ironically, it was on Friday, the 13th March 2020. It was so rehearsed, systematic, an ideal scenario in fact – the patient was calmly examined in a dedicated isolation room. ‘Recent travel from China’ read the clinical indications on the X-ray order.

We have come a long way since then. Now we are led by daily algorithms and HPSC updates have dictated new work-flow operational practices for Primary Care centres, ED staff and in turn, radiographers.  Referral criteria for chest X-rays and CT scans have been modified in line with best international practise. Operational workflow arrangements to deal with both COVID and non-COVID work streams have been organised so that the care streams never meet, in order to minimise infection crossover risk.

Digital mobile radiography is the new standard to reduce the transfer of infection. Strict infection control measures are adhered to – “donning and doffing” are the new buzz words for radiographers. We have also introduced a Buddy system to minimise cross infection whilst X-raying COVID patients. Many patients, either intubated or on admission to the Medical Assessment Unit, appear agitated as the infection takes hold. This makes the whole event of performing a mobile X-ray tense as conversation with the patient is limited. These conditions make it difficult to empathise with the patient.

I am a well-seasoned radiographer and I have found it heart-breaking to work in these circumstances, only to find that, in some cases, the patient has unfortunately passed some days later. I’m now an expert in PPE. I can discern the quality of good PPE from a mile off. I spend much of my day in a whole white body suit that was not so long ago commonplace on media images we saw from Italy and Spain. Where initially there was one patient, now there are often four to five portables to be performed in a COVID ward. The suits are hot and difficult to move in but a necessary evil. I keep telling myself that I will never take another free dessert from the canteen again, but my willpower is shocking.

It has been six life-changing weeks since the crisis took hold and there is no sign of it abating any time soon. My physical and mental well-being is tested on every shift. Equally though, valuable lessons have been learned and strong work friendships formed in the face of hourly adversity and crisis.

There have been many days and nights since this crisis started that I have questioned why I ever become a Radiographer. I lost a good friend just last week and discovered this awful news by casually looking up RIP.ie whilst I was on call. I was able to not attend her funeral or pass my condolences to her family. There is no longer a vent to express the normal phases of grief. I have lost work colleagues and the realisation that I too may succumb to COVID 19 is never far from my mind.

I am not a great cook or champion organiser but since the crisis has begun, Nigella, Kevin Dundun and Nevin Maguire are strewn across the kitchen table. Blobs of flour and egg shells mark my attempts at becoming the next Nigella.

My teenage children can sleep for Ireland, but they have, on a couple of occasions, acknowledged what I do for them on the frontline … and that has brought a tear to my eye. I realise I am a radiographer because I worked hard to be one and that example is what I want to impart onto them.

The weeks do pass, and I have a diary noting the dates that Occupational Health have phoned to say I was either a close or casual contact. Little else goes into it. My social diary is clear. However, the weather outside is getting better and with that brings hope …

This blog was written by Kate Murphy, Radiation Protection Officer, St. Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny with support from all the Radiography team in St. Luke’s Hospital

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Social Distancing from pets CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending that pet owners implement the same social distance guidelines humans are following with each other after a small number of cats tested positive for COVID-19.

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Society of Radiographers SoR .What’s next for patient non -covid but need’s urgent care

As the Covid-19 emergency continues, many radiographers and clinical staff are understandably concerned about what is happening to ‘other patients’: those who urgently need diagnosis and treatment.

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The Coronavirus Ireland Podcast

Pregnancy and Covid-19: Prof. Gráinne Flannelly a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist to discuss pregnancy in the context of Covid-19

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ISRRT news and Views from around the world

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 Reproduction Number Update

Thankfully the R number has fallen again this week . Professor Nolan, Chair of NPHET Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group said there were four separate methods to estimate this number, and that all four confirm “with a high level of confidence” that it is now between 0.5 and 0.8. It also means that on average, if half the population gets the virus, they are not spreading it to anybody else.

Professor Nolan did advise though if some restrictions are relaxed on 5 May, people maintain very strong physical distancing, and the number climbs just over 1, the number of cases will rise slowly

HSE Graph of Reproduction number

 Thinking of you Initiative Sligo University Hospital

This is a really nice initiative for families to communicate with relatives in hospitals at this time

SUH are introducing a new initiative in SUH called Thinking of You!  It allows families, friends and neighbour’s to email good wishes etc via email. Each email will be delivered daily to the patient’s location in a sealed envelope.  I attach a poster for your information.

Thinking of you poster

Pivoting, at Pace, to Virtual Patient Management, Communication and Education

Over the past six weeks, the SCOPe Directorate* in St. James’s Hospital has pivoted from primarily in person assessment and review to a Telehealth model. This Blog will set out the key enablers that made it possible to achieve this change at pace. Click Here

 Shopping Safely during Corona Virus HSE

I included this advice that may help your families when shopping . I am sure you are all well aware of the precautions to take when shopping.

Try to limit shopping trips to once a week. This reduces your risk of getting coronavirus or spreading it to others. No reported cases of coronavirus have been linked to contaminated food. Animals or animal products legally imported into the EU are not a health risk from coronavirus.

Follow these steps to reduce your risk of getting coronavirus or spreading it to others.

When shopping:

  • Use the sanitiser provided for your hands and trolley or basket.
  • Remember to avoid touching your face.
  • If you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve.
  • Follow social distancing guidelines – keep 2 metres distance between yourself and others in queues and while shopping.
  • Pay by card instead of cash and use contactless payment if possible.

HSE Shopping Guidelines Click Here

BIR

“The BIR’s Annual RT and Oncology meeting will be held on the 18-19 March 2021 in London”.

You can find more details on the event including registration and programme on the BIR website.

Please note that the submission deadline for call for abstracts is 5pm on 30th  September 2020 and submissions can be made here (there’s a link on the webpage too).”

Pregnant Healthcare Workers (HCWs), Vulnerable HCWs 

Pre-Existing Disease Version 5, 15/04/2020

In order to ensure the health and safety of our HCWs, this guidance provides advice for vulnerable HCWs, HCWs with pre-existing disease and HCWs who are pregnant, and their manager Click Here:

Health protection Surveillance Centre HPSC 

Derogation for the return to work of Healthcare Workers (HCW) who have been advised to restrict their movements BUT are identified as essential for critical services – Version 4.1 – 10th Apr 2020

This document refers to HCWs who are restricting their movements due to Close Contact with a COVID-19 case, due to international travel after 6pm on the 16th Mar 2020 and other HCWs who are required to self-isolate or restrict movements but who are deemed lower risk.

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 Clinical Trails

The Head of the World Health Organisation, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus says three vaccines for Covid-19 have started clinical trials and 70 more are in the planning stage.

Examples of how Irish tech and MedTech are joining the global fightback against Covid-19.

Ireland has risen to the battle against Covid-19 with what can only be described as dignity and aplomb. Adherence to social distancing rules by the general public and the stoic and courageous response by frontline workers from shops and banks to the bravery of medical workers in hospitals and nursing homes have all played a part. There are more than 100 different projects from PPE and contact tracing to ventilators and vaccination are currently under way across the entire island of Ireland. Read More:

Safe Food

Covid-19 has brought us to a serious time, whether we are front-line workers, small businesses adjusting to social distancing, or balancing working from home with looking after children. As this situation becomes the new normal, we are all adapting to new routines and ways of co-existing. Everyone’s situation is different but setting up a home routine will help put structure on your day. Set times around meals, breaks, snacks, getting outdoors, time for schoolwork, managing workload and so on.

There’s no perfect solution or ‘best practice’ but here’s some advice that might help everyone keep healthy in mind and body over the weeks ahead. And remember, we can only do our best. Read More:

Safe Food Groceries /Covid-19

Currently, there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted by food or food packaging.

However, it is always important to follow good hygiene practices when handling or preparing foods. You should always wash your hands and surfaces often, separate raw meat from other foods, cook to the right temperature and put food in the fridge as soon as you can. Read More:

The IIRRT support the call for student radiographers to be paid and have sent a letter to Minster for Health  Simon Harris addressing this matter .

Around 50 student radiographers who are helping battle Covid-19 ask Simon Harris to pay them Click Here:

COVID-19 Healthcare worker Vehicle pass C-19 Vehicle Pass

COVID-19 (Coronavirus): Health advice for parents and children

Sharing of Information to support each other

I will update the IIRRT resource repository weekly and also add updates from Departments nationally on how they are managing  the Covid-19 outbreak. I am sure there are a lot of useful tips that Radiographers and Radiation Therapists  have developed locally that could help other departments. I am happy to collate the updates if you can email me before Wednesday each week on iirrtcpdofficer@gmail.com

IIRRT Council Advice on Covid-19

The IIRRT have provided information and direction to IIRRT members and non-members  regarding COVID-19.  Click here

Redeployment of HSE Staff during Covid-19 HSE Staff Policy and Procedure

This Policy applies to all HSE employees and to all grades of staff during COVID-19.  It has immediate effect and replaces all previous instructions in operation in the HSE.   Reorganisation of the health service and effective redeployment of health service employees is one of the core elements of the HSE’s response to COVID-19 infection.  As COVID-19 progresses all health services will come under particular strain.   As the demand for health services increases, the number of HSE employees available to provide services may decrease due to absenteeism Click here

Maternity guidelines

Pregnant and post- partum period management guidance for COVID-19 Click here

 Social Media Platforms Twitter Accounts

IIRRT Instagram account

Facebook Accounts

  • IIRRT Facebook Page
  • Radiography & Medical Radiation Science
  • Worldwide RT Facebook

HSCP Share Blog

Following the launch of the HSCP Share blog yesterday, we’ll be posting a series of eHealth-related blogs, beginning today.

  • You can follow these blogs by going to hscpshare.com and adding your email address to the ‘Follow’ box. We’re also on twitter – @WeHSCPs.
  • Please do follow, share and contribute – this is your opportunity to showcase your work, its impact and to learn from others.
  • Please circulate this email as widely as possible