Anne Gallagher, owner of the Hillcrest House Nursing Home in Letterkenny, Co Donegal, for almost two decades, is grateful to have gotten through 15 months of the Covid-19 pandemic without losing any patients to the deadly virus.
“It’s been very difficult for our residents and their relatives and extremely worrying for us. We did have an outbreak but, thankfully, it didn’t result in any Covid-related deaths,” says Gallagher, adding that the Government’s special financial assistance scheme for a sector that found itself at the epicentre of crisis has been a “lifesaver”.
“We’ve used that money to develop a brilliant model in the nursing home, with extra staff on duty to check visitors and carry out screening. It’s also helped with the huge costs of hand sanitising centres and extra PPE [personal protective equipment],” she says. “But I don’t know how we’re going to manage with the scheme currently scheduled to