21st October 2022
“This has changed my life for the better – I wish everyone could have facilities like these on their doorstep” - Celine Naughton was 61 last year when she was diagnosed with asthma after visiting her GP at the new Bray Primary Care Centre. She was subsequently seen in the Integrated Care Hub nearby where a team of healthcare professionals works in harmony to meet the needs and provide comprehensive care for their patients.
Celine’s experience meant she was supported locally in managing her condition and is now confident about her future:
“It was a kind of a long story because it had taken a year when I was wheezing and coughing and eventually my GP referred me for a spirometry (breathing) test. This indicated that I had asthma. Then the GP got the news of my diagnosis and so she said I would need a consultation with a Specialist Respiratory Nurse.”
Celine explained that she thought she was likely to face a waiting list “for God knows how long because that’s just the way things are. But instead of that my GP got in touch with Specialist Respiratory Nurse Joyce O’Hara and within a couple of weeks I got to see her here on my doorstep. Joyce gave me all the time I needed and listened to what my lifestyle was like. She said I had a combination of chronic sinusitis and asthma. She told me what we were going to do which would involve me changing some things in my lifestyle. Joyce told me that whatever exercises I could do, even if it was only a gentle stroll, to do that for now.
'Changed my life'
“She said no chemical sprays to clean surfaces – basically telling me to keep my life pure and simple. The result is that now, about six months later, I am going to the gym three or four times a week and really enjoying it. And I think, altogether, this has changed my life for the better. I wish every community had it as this is a shining light and I just hope everybody gets to be able to avail of a facility like this on their doorstep.”
The new Integrated Care Hub and Primary Care Centre in Bray are part of the nationwide rollout of the Enhanced Community Care programme. Developed through Sláintecare, the programme is improving the experience of patients, aiming to reduce reliance on hospitals. Ninety Community Healthcare Networks have been set up and 21 Community Specialist Teams for Older People have been established, along with 18 Community Specialist Teams for Chronic Disease Management. So far over 2,300 staff have been recruited or are at an advanced stage of employment, with additional recruitment of 1,300 staff planned for 2022.
Celine shares her experience in this short video