The Carlow/Kilkenny Caredoc team has received an award for Primary Care Initiatives in recognition of its Community Intervention Team, which was launched in September 2011.
The award was presented to Caredoc general manager Phonsie McCarron and the Caredoc team by Children and Youth Affairs Minister Frances Fitzgerald at the annual “Biomnis Healthcare Innovation Awards” in the Burlington Hotel on Friday evening.
The Caredoc CIT was set up by the Caredoc GP co-operative in close cooperation with consultants in St Luke’s Hospital and HSE Community Care to facilitate early discharge and prevent unnecessary hospital admissions. The service covers a population of more than 120,000 and is the first of a number of planned integrated CITs throughout the Caredoc area with Waterford CIT commencing in July this year.
CIT operational manager Dorcas Collier explained that for many health needs that previously would have required a patient being referred into accident and emergency, the Caredoc CIT nurses can now deliver the appropriate care in the community. “The knock-on effect creates further HSE savings in relation to patient transportation costs from care of the elderly units and a reduction in the number of patients presenting at accident and emergency,” she said.
The service has been praised by local consultant geriatrician Dr Rory McGovern as a very positive initiative that is enhancing the care of patients, by both facilitating early discharge from hospital and avoiding certain hospital admissions.
“The CIT is an excellent example of enhanced co-operation between primary and secondary care. It is a further step towards creating the seamless interface between community-based health care providers and the hospital multidisciplinary team,” he said.
Mr McCarron said the Caredoc GP members were keen to further develop the range of services available to their patients. “The new CIT service fulfills this by providing nursing interventions within the community and has the ability to respond quickly when referrals are made to the service from the primary or secondary care setting,” he said. “It is also an excellent example of successful integration between the hospital and community and the Caredoc team looks forward to developing other CIT teams throughout the South East area.”