Family Frequently Asked Questions- March 30th - Covid-19

Issued 30 March 2020


Working with Families- St. Michael's House and the CoronaVirus/ COVID-19- March 30th  

Family Frequently Asked Questions in this uncertain time


Q. What happens to if my family member who lives in Residential Services, needs to be tested for Covid-19 ?

A. Family members will be informed. An Easy to Read guide will support the service user in explaining the process. Our St. Michael's House teams will work with Family members. St. Michael's House are guided by the Public Health professionals.

Q. Is there sufficient Protective Clothing (PPE) in St. Michael's House Residential Services ?

A. St. Michael's House have PPE and continue to work with the HSE .The HSE have agreed a supply contract and the provision for the whole country will improve over the next week. In the meantime, the HSE is reviewing the distribution of existing supplies.

Q. How will a person’s disability supports needs be met if they are hospitalised (e.g. communication, mobility, behavioural, etc.).

A. St. Michael's House are working with the Public Health Guidance should this situation occur. Supports are being developed nationally in terms of the accompaniment of people with disabilities to hospital settings (for staff and/or family member).Residents in St. Michael's House have an individualised Hospital Passport developed to support their needs - should they need it.

Q. Is there any support available to Residential Services where adults/children with disabilities may be forced to self-isolate for longer time periods due to Covid 19?

A. St. Michael's House is responding to the National Emergency and have identified alternative temporary accommodation facilities if required. The HSE are also mapping the available behavioural support resources on a regional basis, to see if some outreach supports can be shared between organisations, where possible.

Day Services

Q. What happened to Day Service staff now that Day Services are closed ?

A. HSE guidance informs St. Michael's House that all staff from Day Service should be redeployed to provide services where they are most needed. Ensuring there are enough staff in Residential Services is a priority. Day Service staff are already redeployed to Residential Services and staff teams are very supportive.

Q. Can I look to privately employ Day Service staff to look after my family member ?

A. No, staff cannot be privately employed to support their family member. Staff have to be available to support St. Michael's House services and are required to support Residential services and other National priorities as determined by the HSE.

Q. Is there a date for Day Services to reopen ?

A. We understand the need to resume services. We are guided and adhering to HSE and Public Health guidelines . There is no such date set to reopen services. We will keep you informed.

Q. Are there plans in place to support families who are supporting their loved one at home?

A. Under HSE guidelines to contain the spread of the virus, St. Michael's House staff cannot go into family homes . We have put in place a system where all families are being contacted to check in with you and to discuss if we can provide supports by phone or remotely.

Residential Services

Q. What happens if the staff member supporting a service user needs to be tested ?

A. The HSE have an expedited pathway for staff to access COVID-19 testing. The criteria for testing can change but St. Michael's House management are working hard to ensure that if a staff member needs to be tested that it will happen as quickly as possible. We will follow Public Health Advice in these situations.

Q. What additional supports are in place to support my family member ?

A. Staff are working with and explaining information to service users where possible. There are a number of Easy to Read guides in place. These include ; what is coronvirus, washing hands, getting tested etc . All staff are informed and updated regularly.

Q. The no visitor restrictions are very difficult, is there any methods of contact to our family member?

A. We have provided a new smart phone to each Residential Service. Staff are keen to work with families to ensure that they can keep in touch with their family member .We encourage families to contact staff to explore how best to do this and have made some suggestions that can be found on .


Q. Why can St. Michael's House not post an update to families every day ?

A. Our management teams are working with local managers as the Irish healthcare landscape changes day by day. We wish to provide you with correct information. We cannot post out letters due to office restrictions so in order to this efficiently and as speedily as possible we are using this website  and other social media platforms for all updates.

Q. What can I do to support St. Michael's House during this National Emergency Crisis ?

A. Please bear with us for information and updates . We are working as fast as we can to continue to support services and protect service users and staff teams. Support us, by adhering to the necessary restrictions we have put in place and most importantly follow the National guidelines in relation to movement, social distancing and cocooning.

Q. How can I stay informed on what is happening in St. Michael's House ?

A. Please visit our - /news/covid for all our updates and news on this National Emergency Covid-19.

 We will keep you informed- Thank you and Stay Safe


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Family FAQ's March 30th