My role as a residential service manager began in September 2019 and a few short months later in March 2020, all Rehab Care staff have had to face one of our biggest challenges to date. At times during the Covid-19 outbreak I have had to work remotely which I found quite difficult as I felt less in control and it meant more tasks for the team leaders on the floor to complete. However overall, the services have managed extremely well given the current circumstances.
We have strived for our services to face the Covid-19 pandemic in a proactive way, rather than reacting to situations that may come up. I feel that this has been reflected across Rehab Care as a whole as the company have been extremely prepared in terms of staff training, availability of information in terms of HSE information and guidance, detailed protocols to follow, regular updates and answering staff questions, as well as having PPE ordered and available in the event of an outbreak or a shortage.
This high degree of preparation has been evident at all levels of service so that the residents, who are always at the centre of our work, continue to receive the best support possible. I have had regular senior management conference calls and maintained consistent contact with the ROO and the ISM. We have on-call support from the Behavioural Therapist and held staff team meetings through conference calls. There have been Covid-19 activity planners drawn up and outreach support available for service users as well should they need it. We have also installed WhatsApp on our service phones so that residents can keep in touch with their families.
What has struck me most throughout this challenging period is the level of dedication, hard work and initiative shown by our staff working on the floor every day with residents. The fact that our residents have remained so safe, settled and happy throughout all of the restrictions imposed on them is a testament to the commitment of the staff supporting them day in and day out and highlights how lucky we are to have such strong staff teams working on the front line in all of our services.
Andrea Browne is the Services Manager in Kerry.