A STATE OF THE ART Primary Care Centre and Medical Park was officially opened in Kilkenny today (Friday 30th September) by the Minister for Health Dr. James Reilly TD.
Ayrfield Primary Care Centre at Ayrfield Medical Park, on the city’s Grange’s Road, features GPs and practice nurses attached to the former Dean Street Medical Centre, working as part of a Primary Care Team with a range of HSE health professionals including public health nurses, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, community mental heath nurses, occupational therapists, dieticians and administration.
The Park was developed and financed by the GPs as a result of the pressing need they felt for a primary care centre offering a full range of services to their patients.
Ayrfield Medical Park will also provide hospital based services at a local level, such as minor surgery and exercise stress tests for diagnosis of heart disease as well as facilities for infusions and intravenous treatments. GP trainees from the South East scheme will be facilitated as well as medical students from Irish universities. There will be access on site to private services such as psychology, chiropody, audiology, massage therapy and yoga/pilates. There will also be access to dedicated consultant clinics in plastic surgery, ear nose and throat, psychiatry, urology, ophthalmology and gynaecology. A pharmacy and dental practice also feature on site.
Officially opening the Ayrfield Medical Park Primary Care Centre, Minister for Health, Dr. James Reilly TD said, “I am delighted to be at the official launch of this centre. This is the kind of service the public wants and deserves. Here we see the provision of an extensive range of integrated services, all in the same building. The planned reform of the health services under this Government will include a far greater emphasis on primary care services in keeping with the principle of treating the patient at the appropriate lowest level of complexity. This Centre in Kilkenny, and others like it, will allow many patients have their necessary treatment close to home and will help to reduce unnecessary acute hospital admissions”.
Welcoming the Minister to Ayrfield for the official opening, Dr. Tadhg Crowley, GP of the Ayrfield Medical Practice (previously known as the Dean Street Practice) said, “Along with my colleagues in the practice, Dr. Frank Chambers, Dr. John Cuddihy, Dr. Bill Cuddihy, Dr. Claire Cusack, Dr. Gobnait Kearney and Dr. Seathrún Ó Casaide, we are delighted that the Minister for Health has joined us today to witness this project being brought to fruition. It was an ambitious project to meet the needs of our patients in a one stop shop environment. Other partners have come on board to ensure that this facility is one of the leading examples in the country of how a range of services – public and private and in cooperation with one another – can be available in a modern consumer friendly surrounding in one’s own locality.”
“Our practice, in 1997, was among the first in the state to engage with the HSE in developing a primary care team. Over the last number of years, we have participated in regular team meetings with HSE professionals where individualised care plans are developed for patients, particularly those with chronic illnesses and other complex needs. The Ayrfield Primary Care Team share information and their respective skills to ensure that patients with greatest need receive services in a timely and coordinated fashion. If acute hospital care is required, the links and arrangements can be made through the team and we look forward to this continuing to be a feature of our integrated services.” Mr. Pat Healy, Regional Director of Operations, HSE South said “The opening of this Primary Care Centre at Ayrfield Medical Park marks a very significant and important development for not only the patients and clients who will attend the Centre but for the health professionals who work here. This state of the art development provides the infrastructure which will enable greater collaboration between the GPs and the HSE services, something that is of enormous benefit to patients.
Ms. Anna Marie Lanigan, HSE South, HSE Area Manager, Carlow/Kilkenny/South Tipperary congratulated all those involved and said, “Today is an exciting day for patients and clients of the HSE in Kilkenny. Primary care services aim to support and promote the health and well-being of the population by making people’s first point of contact with our health services easily accessible, integrated and locally based. The Ayrfield Primary Care Team is a multidisciplinary group of health and social care professionals in Kilkenny City who manage and deliver primary care services to the local population. Ayrfield Park, with its purpose-built Primary Care Centre, is a model of delivery of primary care into the 21st Century. Its uniqueness is enhanced by the fact that Primary Care Team members were actively involved in the design of the centre. This Primary Care Team was one of the first nationally to have been selected for implementation of the HSE’s primary care strategy. Those involved in this initiative continue working towards a new way of organising and delivering health and social care services.”
“Ayrfield Medical Park Primary Care Team has already had achievements. In co-operation with St. Luke’s General Hospital, in areas such as transfusion and intravenous treatment services and access to the Medical Assessment Unit at St Luke’s, many of the traditional boundaries between primary, community and secondary (hospital) care have been broken down. Consultants psychiatrists and geriatricians attend regular clinics in Ayrfield, which builds on the initiative of the team to target vulnerable older persons (aged 80+) living in the community and to maintain them at home as long as possible. Innovation will also feature at the new facility. In a joint vision with the Department of Psychiatry at St. Luke’s General Hospital, all Ayrfield patients with acute and chronic mental health needs are now seen in a dedicated psychiatric outpatients clinic located in Ayrfield. This clinic, led by Dr. Frank Kelly, Consultant Psychiatrist, and his team is a huge achievement for both parties, as well as enormously beneficial to patients. In fact, it is a first in the country.” For further information on the facilities and services available at the Ayrfield Medical Park Primary Care Centre, please see www.ampk.ie