We are aware that not everyone is receiving the same services as February 2020. We are working with HSE Covid-19 Public Health Guidance to ensure health and safety is priority. We understand that this is a very difficult time for Families.
Please see some answers to your questions about St.Michael's House services during #Covid-19
Q. When will day services be back open five days per week?
A. It is unlikely that day services will resume in the exact way it was before. The HSE have asked St.Michael's House to resume slowly. This is to make sure that the person’s health and safety is priority.
The plan for the foreseeable future is the day services and supports in the disability sector will have to be provided within Covid-19 public health guidance. This means that it is not straight forward when we are reopening services.
Q. The Nations Schools have returned 5 days a week , so why can it not be the same for Day services ?
A. A large number of people in our services have underlying health conditions, as well as having a disability. Many are more prone to disease and illness compared with the general population; this makes it even riskier when we are trying to resume services.
We are continuously trying to balance the risk of transmission and infection with the physical and mental wellbeing of our service users.
Infection prevention and control is a key part of the work that we are doing to safely open services.
Q. What plans are in place to support Day Services ?
A. In some cases our centres are small, so this makes it more difficult for us to try to ensure that there is adequate social distancing. It is very hard to have the same numbers of people back in the same building as before and also ensuring that people are safe.
St. Michael's House have asked the HSE for extra funding for different buildings to allow more people to come back to day services more quickly. We understand service users are missing their regular service.
Q. Why do service users not have access to St.Michael's House transport as before ?
A. We have carefully reviewed transport arrangements and at this time it is still deemed risky to travel on SMH buses, due to the confined space and risk of transmission of Covid-19.
The HSE have given us guidance about transport that this must be provided in as safe a manner as possible and strictly within social distancing and other Covid 19 precautions. We have regretfully reduced SMH transport by almost 80%.
Q. What is the HSE PORTAL ?
A. The portal is part of the HSE website. It is in the New Directions part of the HSE website. The website page contains information about the framework for the resumption of day services and it gives a list of each area. SMH is primarily in CHO 9 with some services on the Southside in CHO 6 and 7.
The portal outlines each service location (the address and who the service provider is) and the number of people who can safely attend each service.
Q. What is the St. Michael's House Activity Hub ?
A. The Activity Hub has been designed by our staff to support you at home during this challenging time. It includes a timetable of fun activities and a range of information to help keep your mind and body healthy and happy. The Activity Hub started in April 2020. It can be accessed on smh.ie.
Q. How can I stay informed on what is happening in St. Michael's House ?
A. St. Michael's House CEO, Liz Reynolds has written out monthly communication to all families who use St. Michael's House services. The Persons in Charge in the local Units are keeping families informed.
Please visit our - www.smh.ie /news/covid for all our updates and news on this National Emergency Covid-19.
Q. Are there any further resources for Day Services information ?
A. Yes, St. Michael's House Speech & Language Team along with our "Re-Introduction to Day Services Group" have developed some helpful Easy to Read documents for our service users and families on their return to Day Services. These can be accessed on smh.ie
Thank you. Info@smh.ie