With God as our strength, and His Love as our anchor, St. Andrew’s Mission Hospital (SAMH) continues to be a LIGHT to society amidst our nation’s battle against Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), caring for those under its charge through various initiatives.
St. Andrew’s Community Hospital (SACH) responded promptly to the request from our acute hospital partner, Changi General Hospital (CGH), and the Ministry of Health to admit patients from acute hospitals who have COVID-19 but are stable and recovering.
As the first community hospital to do this, we were charting new waters. Dedicating two of our wards at The Integrated Building, a joint facility between CGH and SACH, for this purpose, we ramped up our infection control training, worked out all the necessary protocols, briefed our staff, received the essential supplies and support from CGH, and received our first patients on 5 April 2020 which was Palm Sunday. At the start of Holy Week, we commenced this new service as unto the Lord and we thank Him for this privilege of serving the country.
In the month of April, Singapore saw a surge in the new cases of COVID-19 infection among migrant workers living in dormitories.
Responding to the needs of the nation, SAMH Clinic (Simei), SACH’s co-located outpatient clinic, also stepped forth to help with the screening of migrant workers.
In prompt response to rapid developments during the onset of the pandemic, colleagues from the clinical, administrative and pastoral care divisions came together to implement precautionary measures and processes to ensure the safety of those we serve.
Over the Lunar New Year weekend, a triage station was set up for visitor screening and registration. Since the start of the outbreak, the triage team has been working seven days a week to screen visitors at entry.
Meanwhile, the SACH care team collaborated with CGH to develop clinical protocols and work flow processes to continue providing seamless care for our patients.
SACH also extended its efforts beyond the hospital and provided professional help and support to the St. Andrew’s Nursing Homes (SANH).
Dr. Shaun Nathan, SACH Resident Physician, shared, “I was given the opportunity to work with SANH (Henderson), which helped me grow in love for the community. I stand amazed that even in uncertainty, God takes our YES and will never be outdone in generosity.”
St. Andrew’s Autism School (SAAS) and the two Day Activity Centres (DACs) prepared materials for Home-Based Learning (HBL) for students and Home-Based Support (HBS) for clients respectively in swift response to government advisories. The hard work and efficiency of colleagues across departments ensured a smooth collection and delivery of HBL and HBS packages at St. Andrew’s Autism Centre (SAAC) and St. Andrew’s Adult Home (Sengkang) [SAAH].
During this period of Circuit Breaker, our teachers and coaches dedicated extra time, effort and resources to support parents in positively engaging their children at home. Online resources, including suggestions for joint parent-child activities, were also among the resources provided to parents. Teachers and coaches also returned to SAAC to provide additional support to students and DAC clients whose families require them.
Meanwhile, SAAH remained fully operational. As visitations and home leave were restricted, residents connected with their families via video calls and increased frequency of phone calls. Our Care Staff remained in the Home during the Circuit Breaker period and committed to serving our residents at the home.
Following MOH’s directive to restrict all visitations to nursing homes, St. Andrew’s Nursing Home (SANH) (Buangkok), SANH (Henderson) and SANH (Queenstown) assisted residents in connecting with their loved ones via video calls.
Befriending activities were also facilitated via video calls, as well as video and audio recordings for volunteers to engage residents.
Ms. Joan Pereira, Member of Parliament, Tanjong Pagar GRC, also did a video call with healthcare workers, support staff and residents of SANH (Queenstown), sending her well-wishes and love to all! In addition, Ms. Pereira worked with Henderson Community Club Women’s Executive Council members who presented the care team with a gift of hand-sewn cloth masks.
Meanwhile, the ward staff of SANH (Henderson) held cooking sessions together with residents to lift their spirits during this period
St. Andrew’s Senior Care (SASC), together with Anglican Senior Centre (ASC) (Hillview), a service of Singapore Anglican Community Services, introduced live sessions on Google Meet to help clients maintain a routine at home during this stay-home period. Staff connect with clients twice a day, engaging them in online exercises, sing-a-long, games, and reminiscence sessions.
For seniors who are unable to join in for the online sessions, the senior care team reaches out to them by calling them regularly and providing them with paper-based activity packages via mail to keep them active.
Seniors undergoing active rehabilitation are also advised to continue with home exercises as prescribed by their therapists, and encouraged to participate in online group exercise sessions.
As we face this challenging time, it is with the generous outpouring of love and support from YOU that we can continue to meet the needs of the community.