2nd April 2020
Message from Dr David Keegan, Ophthalmologist and NCBI Board Member:
There is no doubt these are very challenging times that we live in. There is concern and anxiety about individuals contracting the coronavirus itself and concern about the secondary effects of us trying to manage this virus outbreak within our Health Service leading to delays in other care.
This has affected all services within our hospitals, across our country and indeed across the planet. We have put measures in place in our hospitals so that we can continue to provide urgent care for those that need it but there will be a reduction in routine appointments and not all interventions will be given in a timely manner over this period of time. You can rest assured that the doctors, nurses and administration teams in our hospitals are working very hard to accurately identify the patients who need to get in, that they can get in safely, they can get their treatments and get back out quickly. We will continue to provide crucial services such as ocular injections. Your charts will be reviewed and if necessary you will be contacted to give an update over the phone.
In addition, the sight loss community have an extra concern of needing to live their lives in a more tactile manner than those with full sight. With this in mind we would urge you to exercise extra vigilance regarding hand cleansing. You should have ready access to hand sanitisers and wipes and consider wearing gloves on a more regular basis through this crisis. For those of you that work / live alongside those with sight loss we ask you to exercise extra care in cleaning and maintaining surfaces.
The challenges are not only physical, we all need to be aware of our own, and other’s mental health. Please ensure regular phone or social media contact with friends and family. Be conscious of other’s needs, especially those who are elderly and /or with sight loss. Check on them frequently please. The NCBI will continue to make phone contact with all its service users.
We, in the hospitals and at NCBI, are already working on the post crisis plans to get everybody seen as soon as possible and as safely as possible afterwards. We will work through that backlog when we know that it is truly safe to restart normal activity.
We would recommend you search out other advice via appropriate sources such as the HSE (www.hse.ie) or WHO (www.who.int) and be wary of non-sanctioned information sources.
There’s also a lot more practical advice you can get by talking to your local NCBI support worker.