Donegal Covid Hub nominated for HSE Excellence Award

The COVID-19 Community Assessment Hub which operated in Letterkenny from April until the 11th of this month has been shortlisted for the HSE Excellence Awards.

The facility ceased operating June 11th 2021, ceasing operations as GP's now have the capacity to assess their patients in GP surgeries.

The Donegal hub was the first in the country to use tele health, and while it was open, 208 patients were referred for tele health monitoring. 70% by GP’s and 30% by respiratory consultants in Letterkenny University Hospital.

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Statement in full -

Letterkenny Community Assessment Hub shortlisted for HSE Excellence Awards

The COVID-19 Community Assessment Hub in Donegal has been shortlisted for the HSE Excellence Awards.

Every day across our health service HSE staff do wonderful work across primary care, acute and national services.  The Health Service Excellence Awards is an opportunity to showcase and celebrate the good work that happens every day. 

The Donegal COVID-19 Community Assessment Hub (CAH), based at Letterkenny, was operational from April 14th 2020 to June 11th 2021, ceasing operations as GP's now have the capacity to assess their patients in GP surgeries. 

The Donegal CAH provided an alternative scheduled assessment and treatment pathway for COVID-19 positive and presumptive COID-19 patients who required a review by a GP and nurse.

The quality improvement initiative was supported by local management, respiratory consultants at LUH and the GP’s working in Primary Care CHO1, Donegal

The goal of this quality improvement initiative is to deliver care at the right time in the right place to the right patient during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to support and manage patients with respiratory symptoms in primary care with a confirmed/suspected diagnosis of COVID-19 infection.

From April 2020 to June 2021, 208 patients were referred for tele health monitoring. 70% were referred by GP’s while the remaining 30% were referred by the respiratory consultants in LUH.

Tele Health is used to maximise the number of patients with the COVID-19 virus who can self- manage their condition at home through the provision of clinical input, advice and support from the community respiratory integrated care team.

It also reduces inappropriate utilisation of acute hospital capacity while providing reassurance for patients who have COVID-19 and are self-isolating at home.

Tele health also reduces exposure to COVID-19 by enabling both patients and clinicians to consult while in isolation.

It also increases organisational resilience by protecting the workforce and enabling support to be provided from different geographical locations.

The Donegal CAH was the first in the country to implement tele-health

Mandy Doyle, HSE GM Primary Care, Donegal said ; “We are delighted to be shortlisted for the HSE Excellence Awards which has recognised our efforts in developing a quality assured service whilst promoting the HSE core values of care, compassion, trust and learning in CHO1 Donegal.

“The implementation of tele-health required collaborative working across acute CHO1, Donegal and GP’s encouraging an integrated way of working resulting in a seamless service for the patient.

“Going forward, the implementation of tele-health in community services has the capability of sustaining healthcare and support for all patients. It is envisaged that this will be expanded into the Integrated Chronic Disease Management Model of Care in CHO1, Donegal.