People intent on visiting loved ones despite restrictions

People intent on visiting loved ones despite restrictions


Management at Ennis Hospital in Co Clare have issued an urgent appeal for the local public to cooperate with the visiting ban introduced across all sites of UL Hospitals Group in response to the ongoing Covid-19 public health emergency.

Patricia O’Gorman, Operational Director of Nursing at Ennis Hospital, said she regretted that people have been unable to visit their loved ones in the hospital, but that the visiting ban was necessary to safeguard the safety of patients, healthcare staff and the community at large.

In recent days, a number of visitors had attended the hospital site intent on visiting their inpatient relatives, and Ms O’Gorman emphasised that the public have to continue adhering with the guidelines, indefinitely and until further notice.

“I regret that that we have to take this measure. Visitor bans are never introduced lightly, and we acknowledge the impact of this on people in our care, particularly elderly patients. However, it is absolutely essential that people heed the visiting restrictions ,” she said.

“We want to keep our patients and staff safe, and so we are trying to decrease footfall in the hospital. People also need to adhere to the guidance on physical distancing. By doing that, and staying at home as much as possible, we can all play an important part in helping to prevent the spread of coronavirus,” Ms O’Gorman added.

Photo: © Pat Flynn 2020

For compassionate reasons, the sole exceptions to this visitor ban at Ennis Hospital are relatives of patients at end-of-life, with a strict limit of one visitor per patient.

To help people get important personal belongings to and from their relatives in the hospital, a drop-off and collection service is available, and reception staff at Ennis Hospital will be happy to assist with any queries about this service.

Patients attending the Medical Assessment Unit and Injury Unit at Ennis Hospital should also bring no more than one family member with them, and that the family member could remain in the car while their relatives attend the units.

“We thank the public and patients for their cooperation at this difficult time in helping us to keep our patients and staff safe, and for contributing to the overall effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus,” Ms O’Gorman stated.

Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.