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Charleville Primary Care Centre the first of many — Cork/Kerry CHO

05 Mar 2015

Mallow General Hospital

A new primary care centre (PCC) is opening in Charleville and, following recent national advertisements, the HSE will be progressing a number of other PCC developments across Cork and Kerry.

Work has commenced on existing primary care services to self-assess against the National Standards for Safer and Better Healthcare, said the HSE, which added that “100 per cent of Cork and Kerry” were now covered by SouthDoc out-of-hours GP service.

Cork and Kerry Community Healthcare Organisation (CHO) has published its operational plan for this year, which sets out the type and volume of service to be provided directly, or through a range of funded agencies, to people across the region during 2015.

Ger Reaney, Chief Officer, Cork & Kerry CHO, said: “A particular emphasis in this year’s plan is on continuing to enhance the quality of community-based services in Cork and Kerry.” The CHO Operational Plan 2015 details an estimated resource allocation of €536 million.

Home helps and home care packages will be maintained at 2014 levels. In addition, a small number of intensive home care packages will be provided as an alternative to residential care. Additional beds will be opened in West Kerry Community Hospital along with the potential to open additional beds in Kenmare Community Hospital — depending on demand — and work will commence on the redevelopment of Bandon Community Hospital to meet HIQA standards.

There will be continued development of Genio funded dementia projects in Kinsale, Mallow and the Mercy University Hospital.

There is to be increased provision of new home-based mental health treatment teams in Cork City, a new acute unit will open in Cork City in March 2015, and a 40-bedded community nursing unit in Killarney will be commissioned by December. There is to be a new process for orthotics and prosthetics, including a new service in Mercy University Hospital for people who require replacement prosthetics, and increased ultrasound access in PCCs for patients referred by GPs has been pledged.

The successful ‘Cork Beats Stress’ project will also be continued, having been rolled out in Cork City and East Cork.

The HSE has signalled it is moving away from an emphasis on the employment control framework and employment ceilings towards “ensuring that we have the right number of staff at the appropriate grades within the funding available to us”. This would mean a substantially reduced reliance on agency staff and overtime expenditure, it added.

Gary Culliton

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Irish Medical Times