10th June 2022
Photographs taken at the Waterford Integrated Care for Older People (WICOP) Centre, St. Patrick’s Hospital, Waterford
A new centre for older adults is being developed in the St Patricks Hospital building in Waterford that will provide a range of services combining geriatric and other specialist care services from University Hospital Waterford along with a range of community and social care professionals from South East Community Healthcare (SECH) It will also feature input from GP and primary care services. The Waterford Integrated Care for Older People Centre (WICOP) aims to support people living in their homes to remain as long as possible.
Outreach Day Hospital Service
Clients are already being seen at the new Waterford Centre and as further staff join the services, an outreach Day Hospital Service will also be established at a premises in Dungarvan Community Hospital. The new centre will also feature a unit specialising in research and training in Medicine for the Elderly and as a resource for others involved with the care of older people.
Those already being referred include older adults who have fallen, are frail, are encountering memory impairment or may have movement disorders.
Multi Disciplinary Teams
All referrals seen and considered (triaged) by the team featuring and are scheduled for assessment. UHW’s Consultants in Medicine for the Elderly are on site and are working as part of a Multi-Disciplinary Teams including Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, a Dietitian, Medical Social Workers, a Psychologist, Nurses and administrative staff.
Operating on a five day a week basis at the moment, further development plans are in place.
Noting the progess to date, Neville Coen (Operational Team Lead, WICOP) explained that, SECH and UHW have worked closely in recent years on the Waterford Integrated Care for Older People project. Upon space becoming available in St. Patrick’s Hospital for re-development, part of Dungarvan Community Hospital also earmarked for such a focus and support from Sláintecare and the HSE’s Enhanced Community Care programme, there has been an opportunity to further base health and social care services around specific complex patient groups.
“Various clinical professionals are involved in the care of older people and resourcing integrated care allows the HSE to support older adults within environments optimised to their current needs. From its foundation some years ago the centre has been an ambitious project and this new development at St. Patrick’s will help the HSE to streamline health and social care for the most complex group of older adults.”
Professor John Cooke (WICOP Project Lead and Consultant Physician/Medicine for the Elderly at UHW) is looking forward to the full operation of the new centre at St. Patrick’s:
“In recent years, there has been very welcome investment in the creation of a multi-disciplinary team to support integrated care for older people. We now have a state of the art, purpose built centre at St. Patrick’s in Waterford. UHW looks forward to being involved in acute ambulatory services and in the development and coordination of information and training for this hub for services for older patients - supporting integration between hospital and community healthcare services. The centre involves changing the way health and social care is planned and delivered, whilst ultimately focusing on patient experience, outcomes and quality of care.”