Primary Care Centre the chosen Kerry base

Those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future: A message of hope on the window of Mayor of Kerry, Cllr Niall Kelleher’s constituency office on High Street, Killarney.
Picture: Valerie O’Sullivan

A COVID-19 community assessment hub is to be opened in Castleisland as part of the significant response underway across the entire health system.

Cork Kerry Community Healthcare said the hub, located in the Castleisland Primary Care Centre, will be for patients who have or may have a confirmed diagnosis of Covid-19 when their GP decides they need a face-to-face clinical assessment.

Patients can only access these hubs when referred by their family doctor and the aim is to ensure that anyone who needs a face-to-face clinical assessment can get it in the community, as quickly as possible.

This will help patients who need assessment but who do not need immediate hospital care to avoid referrals to acute hospitals where possible. Once seen at the hub, patients may either be asked to return home, to enter isolation or to attend an acute hospital.

The hubs will be staffed mostly by GPs with the support teams of healthcare professionals, including nurses and physiotherapists, with additional administrative support.

“We would like to pay tribute to the teams involved in getting these hubs set up and operational for their dedication to patient care,” said a spokesperson for Cork Kerry Community Healthcare.

“People are working extremely hard to get these hubs ready in a very short time. Our focus in the coming days is to train and enable the staff who will be working in the hubs and to ensure GPs are aware on how they will make referrals”.

There will be 120 staff trained by the end of this week in Kerry and Cork.

The hubs will open seven days a week the opening hours are expected to be from 8.30am to 7.30pm although this will depend on the level of referrals. Patients will only be seen by appointment.

It is not possible to make appointments at the hub as this can only be done by a GP or by the SouthDoc out-of-hours medical service at weekends.

The centre in Castleisland is expected to be operational next week and other hubs will be located in St Mary’s Healthcare Campus in Cork City, Bantry Primary Care Centre, Old Fort Road in Ballincollig and The Gilbert Centre in Mallow.

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