As already announced in its COVID-19 contingency plan, Steward Health Care Malta has today completed the move of 72 elderly residents together with staff from Residenza Sant’Anna at Gozo General Hospital to the Downtown Hotel also located in Victoria.
The hotel was made available three weeks ago through cooperation with the Ministry for Gozo so as to free up space in the Gozo Hospital to cater for more COVID-19 patients. The Gozo Hospital has already made available 41 beds for COVID-19 and the vacated Sant’ Anna Residence will serve to provide another 80, bringing the total of beds available to around 120.
In these three weeks a number of alterations have been made to the facility to be able to accommodate the needs of the elderly residents, including the provision of new electric motorised beds and related mobility equipment, installation of nurse call systems, storage of clinical and non-clinical supplies, and changing rooms and shower facilities for staff. The downstairs area has been converted to dining and recreational facilities as well as a chapel.
Patient rooms are on two floors with nursing stations and support space such as treatment rooms and linen stores on each floor. All the patient rooms are twin rooms with television and ensuite bathroom facilities. The residents will be looked after by the same staff to minimise disorientation and to ensure continuity of care. All services previously provided at Sant’Anna, including medical care, will be retained in the new facility.
All residents and staff going to be working in the facility have been swabbed for COVID-19. One hotel worker was found to be positive prior to the move and was sent home in quarantine. The hotel was disinfected twice over a 24-hour period and full infection control measures are being taken to safeguard the residents and staff. All staff are provided with appropriate PPEs as per infection control protocols, in line with guidelines from the Infection Control Unit at Mater Dei.
Visits from relatives remain prohibited until advised otherwise by the Public Health authorities, and relatives are encouraged to keep in contact with their loved ones through telephone/video calls.
Steward Malta has been working closely with the Ministry for Health and the Ministry for Gozo, to ensure that its contingency plan for COVID-19 meets the needs of the communities that it serves and is in line with national public health requirements. Dr Nadine Delicata, Executive Director & President for Steward Malta, expressed her thanks to all stakeholders who contributed to ensuring that this relocation of residents was completed successfully and in accordance with planned timelines.