HSE Primary Care Services to be curtailed or cancelled

Primary Care Services are to be scaled by in Donegal and the North West as a result of large numbers of staff being deployed to frontline Covid-19 response services.

Primary Care includes GP services, Public Health Nurses and a range of other services like Dental, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy, Psychology, Dietetics, Podiatry, Opthalmics and Community Pharmacy.

The revision has meant that only critical and vital services will be provided. Some necessary services and all desired services will be curtailed and/or cancelled until such time that they can be resumed.

Edel Quinn is General Manager of Primary Care in Community Health Organisation Area 1, which includes Donegal............

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HSE statement in full

25th March 2020
HSE Media Statement - HSE CHO 1 Revision of Primary Care Services

We wish to thank the public for their on-going support as all parts of our health services respond to COVID-19.

Due to current demands on the system, and as a result of large numbers of staff being deployed to frontline Covid-19 response services, our Primary Care Service provision has had to be revised.

Primary Care Services are all of the health or social care services that you can find in your community, outside of the acute hospital. They include GPs, Public Health Nurses and a range of other services like Dental, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy, Psychology, Dietetics, Podiatry, Opthalmics and Community Pharmacy.

Revision of the Primary Care Service has meant that only critical and vital services will be provided. Some necessary services and all desired services will be curtailed and/or cancelled until such time that they can be resumed.

Examples of critical and vital services include GP services, Public Health Nursing and Community Pharmacy services; emergency aids and appliance provision; essential immunisation services; emergency Dental and Ophthalmic services; and any service that is required to respond to a service user being at high risk.

Chief Officer CHO 1 Mr John Hayes stated “We would like to thank members of the public for their co-operation thus far.  We appreciate that the revision of our Primary Care Services impacts directly on service users and we would ask that you  continue to work with us in the interests of patient and staff safety to ensure that we manage this as effectively as possible.”

For further information in relation to your Primary Care Service, please contact your service provider. In relation to cancellation of appointments, your service provider will communicate this with you. If you are feeling unwell and have a scheduled appointment, please contact your service provider prior to your appointment.

Anyone with general concerns should firstly visit HSE.ie/coronavirusIf you still have concerns, you can ring HSELive on 1850 24 1850.  HSELive is an information line only and can’t order coronavirus tests.

We wish to reiterate that anyone with symptoms should not show up at their GP/ GP Out of Hours Service or ED unannounced.

Symptoms of coronavirus are a cough, shortness of breath, breathing difficulties, fever (high temperature).   If you develop symptoms you will need to self-isolate and phone your GP. The people in your household need to restrict their movements.

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. The GP will assess you over the phone. If they think you need to be tested for coronavirus, they will arrange a test.

We would like to remind the public that the most important steps we can all take right now are:

1)                Wash our hands, thoroughly and regularly for at least 20 seconds.

2)                Stop the spread of infections by covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, either with a tissue or your arm.

3)                Abide by Social Distancing.  This is important to help slow the spread of coronavirus. It does this by minimising contact between potentially infected individuals and healthy individuals.

4)                Go to HSE.ie/coronavirus for the best and most current information as the situation evolves.