As part of the response to Covid-19 under way across the entire health system, a number of Community Assessment Hubs are in the process of being established at various locations in the South-east
A ‘Community Assessment Hub’ has been set up at Kilcreene Hospital in Kilkenny as part of a new HSE initiative.
The hubs, which are being established at locations throughout the region, are for patients who have a definite or presumptive diagnosis of Covid-19, when their GP decides they need a face-to-face clinical assessment. Patients can only access the Community Assessment Hub following referral by their GP.
The hubs are to assist patients who need assessment but who do not require immediate hospital care to avoid referrals to acute hospitals where possible.
Following review and clinical assessment at the Community Assessment Hubs, patients may either be asked to return home, referred to hospital or be referred to a self isolation facility when it is not feasible to self isolate within their own home.
The Community Assessment Hubs are staffed by GPs, in association with healthcare professionals – including nurses and physiotherapists and administration staff.
It is intended that a Wexford Community Assessment Hub (located at Wexford General Hospital) will be operational later this week. The South Tipperary Hub, located at Cahir Primary Care Centre, will come into operation over the next two weeks. Should it be required, provision is in pace for another Hub at St Dympna’s Hospital, Carlow.
Anna-Marie Lanigan (Head of Service/Primary Care, South East Community Healthcare) has paid tribute to the GPs and HSE teams involved in the establishment and operation of these Community Assessment Hubs and for their dedication to patient care.
“Approximately 100 staff have been redeployed and trained across counties Carlow, Kilkenny, South Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford to work in these Community Assessment Hubs," she said.
"We have worked closely with GPs across the South East in relation to the operation and referral process. Staff have come from a number of locations within the health services and is indicative of how HSE personnel from a number of service areas are working in an integrated manner and with GP colleagues with the aim of providing enhanced supports to patients during this challenging time.”
“It is our intention that the Community Assessment Hubs will be operational from 8am to 8pm, albeit that this is very dependent on the activity within the individual Hubs and the referral patterns. Patients will only be reviewed when a prior appointment has been made for them. Appointments at the Community Assessment Hubs can only be made following consultation with an individual’s own GP or by Caredoc outside of normal surgery hours. Every effort is being made to ensure the provision of comprehensive and effective health services within the Primary Care setting”.
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