Covid-19 assessment hub opens in Longford

Alan Walsh

Reporter:

Alan Walsh

Email:

alan.walsh@longfordleader.ie

Covid-19 assessment hub opens in Longford

Covid-19 assessment hub opens in Longford

The HSE has confirmed that a Covid-19 Community Assessment Hub (CAH) will be operational at the Primary Care Centre, Ballyminion, Longford this week. 

The Clinical Assessment Hubs (CAHs) are being set up so that Covid-19 positive patients (confirmed and presumptive) who require a face to face clinical assessment can attend a community based unit as near as possible to where they live.

Also read: 11 more cases of Covid-19 confirmed in Longford

The aim is to divert symptomatic patients who require medical assessment away from the acute hospital system and GP practices by providing a facility in the community in which the patient can be seen and clinically assessed by a team of Doctors and other healthcare professionals e.g. Nurses, Physiotherapists.

Other members of the team include clerical support and domestic staff. 

The Longford CAH has opened on an initial phased basis Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. However the CAH team will monitor the service demands and the opening of the CAH will reflect local need. 

How do I access a CAH

Attendance is by appointment only following a GP referral. There is no walk in capacity. The service is designed to accept referrals and to issue appointments within 24 hours, however, 48 hours has been defined as the maximum pre-booking period for safety reasons.

The outcome of an assessment at the CAH is:

1.       The patient returns home with advice.

2.       Referred onto a hospital.

3.       Referred to a self-isolation unit. 

A copy of the assessment outcome will be provided to the patient for the information of their next point of care and/or their own GP.

In addition to the Longford CAH, four other CAHs will be operational in the HSE Midlands Louth Meath region ; located at Donore Road, Drogheda, Co Louth; Slane Health Centre, Co Meath; Clonbrusk Resource Centre, Athlone and St Fintan’s Campus Portlaoise.

Pat Bennet, Chief Officer of HSE Midlands Louth Meath Community Healthcare, acknowledged “A sincere thanks  to all staff working here in this community services and hospital groups over the past number of weeks. A number of staff have changed roles, worked weekends, worked late into the night, worked from home all to assist in the fight against this challenging circumstance. All of you are heroes, all of you are making the difference to the success of the COVID-19 fight in this country."

The HSE said that Covid-19 Testing Centres  will be open in Tullamore, Mullingar, Dundalk, Navan, with capacity to open Athlone/ Longford and Portlaoise to meet the expected increased demand.

Also read: The HSE is not adhering to its own advice, says Longford TD Joe Flaherty