Airoe Valencia, Nurse at St Camillus Community Hospital pictured in 2018 with Michael McInerney, Resident looking at the plans for the new proposed development. Picture: Cian Reinhardt
A tribute to the exceptional staff at St Camillus Community Hospital
By I Love Limerick Correspondent Mary Doyle
St. Camillus Community Hospital, located on Shelbourne Road in Limerick City, is a building that many people may pass by without realising the exceptional work that is carried out inside. St Camillus was first built in 1841 as a Limerick Union Workhouse, but today has the main function of an Older Persons Community Nursing Home, as well as offering several other essential community services such as granting marriage licenses, registering births and deaths, dental and orthodontics, primary care child and family psychology services, as well as much more.
The incredible frontline staff at St Camillus Community Hospital continue to provide essential healthcare assistance to the most vulnerable of patients throughout this COVID-19 crisis, putting themselves at risk for the health and safety of our loved ones. Now adapting to COVID-19 contingency plans, the hospital has seen its canteen converted into a new 23-bed Treaty Ward. This development will provide the opportunity for the care of a larger number of patients, as COVID-19 continues to spread rapidly.
Further long-term plans are in place to strengthen the facilities of St Camillus, as in 2018, the HSE unveiled plans for a new €18.9 million state of the art facility, to cater for 75 long-stay residents. With the aim of completing this development by 2021, this project is part of the Government strategy of bringing long-stay public care facilities up to the highest standard, by developing 63 more single rooms and 6 more twin rooms.
Sian Rowe McCormack, Director of Nursing at St Camillus Community Hospital, paid tribute to their wonderful staff, saying, “What is apparent in every breath of the building is the staff commitment to exceptional care for our patients. I want to pay particular tribute to our exceptional staff, across all our staff categories, who continue to look after vulnerable patients during COVID-19, and always go above and beyond to deliver exceptional health services”.
The building which is now known as St Camillus Community Hospital is steeped in history, once being one of the largest workhouses in Ireland with a capacity of 1600 inmates. The Limerick Union Workhouse site was converted to a hospital in 1933, and has since provided exceptional and critical healthcare and community services for many people across Limerick.
Speaking about his own experience with St Camillus Community Hospital and its staff, I Love Limerick’s Richard Lynch said, “I personally have so many fond memories. I came here for my first dental appointment, I got my marriage license here, my two sisters got married here, one of my best friends got married here, but more importantly, my Mum passed away in 2016 and before she passed away she was cared for here for many weeks by the incredible staff, and for that, I am eternally grateful.”
Richard, on behalf of everyone at I Love Limerick, extended his gratitude to the staff at St Camillus for their continued hard work, saying, “I personally want to thank all the amazing staff at this hospital who provide critical and loving care to so many people’s loved ones at this difficult time during the COVID-19 crisis. You’re doing an amazing job and I applaud all of you.”
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