Practical Supports for Frontline Workers
Heroes Aid was initially positioned as a crisis response to PPE deficits in Ireland, as a key measure of support for healthcare workers on the frontline during the initial Covid-19 wave in March 2020. Our aim was to ensure that front-line healthcare workers were able to promptly access an appropriate interim supply of PPE from Heroes Aid, whilst awaiting HSE PPE deliveries, thus eliminating or reducing their risk of exposure to Covid-19 and minimising interruption to critical service delivery.
The earlier acute phase of the pandemic saw an intense demand from Acute Hospital settings. The focus of Heroes Aid then transitioned to Nursing Homes as a natural response to the well documented prevalence and effects of the virus on morbidity and mortality of our older population. Nursing Homes struggled to secure PPE and as a result it was difficult to recruit staff.
Heroes Aid has delivered PPE to over 1500 healthcare settings nationwide, benefiting thousands of frontline healthcare staff. This has included Acute hospitals, Primary Care settings such as Public Health Nurses, GP’s, Hospices, Nursing Homes, Social Care settings and various Charities. Delivery has been facilitated and undertaken by members of Heroes Aid themselves, individual volunteers and volunteers from Bravo Tango Charlie.
Heroes Aid made a significant contribution to keeping staff safe (& ultimately patients) within all sectors of Irish healthcare settings.
The current demand for PPE presently transitioned heavily to Primary Care Services, such as GP’s and Charitable organisations such as Simon, Vincent DePaul, Peter McVerry Trust, SafetyNet, Penny Dinners, etc. Such organisations provide healthcare services in the form of Primary Care, encompassing ‘Drop In’ clinics and other healthcare services which are ordinarily inaccessible to homeless persons. Such services are instrumental in healthcare provision to marginalised persons and families in Ireland.
It is important to state that all PPE procured by Heroes Aid adheres with HSE standards. To date, Heroes Aid has delivered over 270, 000 Surgical 11R masks, 20,000 FFP2’s, 50,000 Visors and 40, 000 Gowns.
Some brief examples of the outcomes resulting from this prompt response to PPE deficits, ensuring continuity of service and reducing exposure of staff to risk of Covid-19, includes major surgical theatres in the south and east of the country continuing services when they otherwise would have closed; several ICU’s in the east of the county maintaining optimal standards of care which would otherwise have been compromised, and reducing or mitigating risk of acquiring Covid-19 for multitudes of staff in so many nationwide settings, who had no PPE particularly during the well-publicised delays of PPE cargo flights into Ireland. Extensive feedback was received detailing how Heroes Aid initiative facilitated the continuance of service provision for the public, and afforded otherwise unavailable barriers/protection for staff, which in turn reduced infection transmission to staff and in turn the public.