The NoWDOC service has published it's operating arrangements for the Christmas and New Year period.
The four Donegal centres in Letterkenny, Carndonagh, Mountcharles, and Derrybeg will operate from 6pm on Christmas Eve until 8am on Tuesday December 29th.
The service will operate as usual on the evenings of Tuesday the 29th and Wednesday the 30th from 6pm until 8am the following morning.
On New Year's Eve, Thursday December 31st, the NoWDOC service will commence at 6pm, and run through until 8am on Monday January 4th.
GPs in Letterkenny and Inishowen will operate a limited service on the morning of Saturday January 2nd (details below).
NoWDOC is warning all patients and service users that the service is normally very busy over the Christmas and New Year periods and waiting times may be longer than normal.
They are also urging people to ensure that prescriptions and medicines are arranged with their own GP and pharmacy before the holiday period commences.
The service can be contacted at 1850 400 911.
Statement in full -
HSE Media Release - NoWDOC GP Out of Hours Service - Christmas & New Year Opening Hours
The NoWDOC service which is a partnership between the GP members of Caredoc and the HSE provides an urgent GP family Doctor service to patients of GP members in Co Donegal and south Leitrim. The NoWDOC Service Manager, Ms Deirdre Moy outlined how the service operates and what services will be in place over the Christmas holiday period. Ms Moy advised that the service is designed to provide urgent GP care to patients and is not a substitute for the Emergency Ambulance Service who is the appropriate service to deal with medical emergencies where they arise.
She stated that "All calls received in the NoWDOC call centre (which is contacted via the 1850 400 911 number) are initially assessed by trained and qualified Nursing clinicians. On completion of the nursing triage process a clinical decision will be made regarding the appropriate level of care as patients can be seen by a GP in one of our main treatment centres which are located in Letterkenny, Carndonagh, Mountcharles, Derrybeg and Carrick-on-Shannon. All consultations in the NoWDOC service are by appointment only and the location of the centre which the patient will attend is agreed in advance with the patient during the process".
Ms Moy advised that over the Christmas and New Year period the service will be providing urgent Out of Hours GP care to patients who require same and that the service will operate as per normal hours in each of the NoWDOC sites as per the following information.
Christmas & New Year Opening Hours
Thursday, 24th December - 18:00 through to Tuesday, 29th December at 08:00am
Tuesday 29th December - 18:00 to 08:00am Wednesday 30th December
Wednesday, 30th December - 18:00 to 08:00 Thursday 31st December
Thursday, 31st December - 18:00 through to Monday, 4th January at 08:00am
NoWDOC opening hours in each of our centres will operate as normal outside of the holiday periods as set out above.
Letterkenny and Inishowen GPs will operate their own surgeries on Saturday morning (2nd January) up to 12 midday and thereafter patients in the Letterkenny and Inishowen areas should contact NoWDOC.
Ms Moy reminded all patients and service users that the service is normally very busy over the Christmas and New Year periods and waiting times may be longer than normal. She also advised that patients and service users should ensure that prescriptions and medicines are arranged with their own GP and pharmacy before the holiday period commences.
In conclusion and on behalf of the NoWDOC service Ms Moy stated "The entire team of staff and GPs in NoWDOC would like to extend our good wishes to all of our patients and service users for the festive period”. Ms Moy also acknowledged "the hard work and commitment of the staff and GPs who work throughout the year and particularly over the festive period to provide this service”.
Notes on Covid 19
If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you must self-isolate and call your local GP out of hours service straight away if it’s during the evening, weekend or a Bank Holiday. The GP will tell you if you need a test. Testing is quick and safe and most people get their result within 48 hours of their test appointment.
HSE COVID-19 testing centres remain open daily over the Christmas and New Year period. The GP assessment and test for Covid-19 are both free of charge.
Our contact tracers will also continue to call people who test positive for COVID-19 and their close contacts to give them public health advice over the Christmas period. Contact tracers will advise close contacts to restrict their movements for 14 days and arrange free COVID-19 testing. We would strongly encourage people who test positive and/or who have symptoms of COVID-19 to self-isolate in a room on their own and avoid other people for ten days. This will help stop the spread of the virus.