Building a Better Health Service

Your Health

Specialist local services mean patients avoid hospital visits

 Joyce O’Hara, Specialist Respiratory Nurse


“It’s fantastic for patients – they access the service in their area and don’t have to come into hospital, so it’s a bit easier all round” – Rachel Anglin, Chief Respiratory Physiologist at St Vincent’s University Hospital describes the benefits of the Integrated Care Hub in Bray where she works with a team of colleagues providing a comprehensive range of integrated services.

Included on the team is Joyce O’Hara, Specialist Respiratory Nurse,  who explains that she started in her post last year as part of a Sláintecare project.  “It was a new project to deliver specialist respiratory services within the community.   Previous to setting up the service which includes a nurse, pulmonary function tests and specialist physiotherapist, patients would have to access acute hospital services – they would have to be referred by their GP to a hospital waiting list. 

“Because of the Sláintecare project, we were able to commence that service in the locality.  That meant that patients could avoid hospital waiting lists and they were seen in a timely manner.  So we very much run an integrated service – I work very closely with my colleagues in St Vincent’s University Hospital, with GPs, and with our Respiratory Consultant who governs the service and we all work quite closely together.”

Rachel adds: ”I run the Respiratory Service here in the Integrated Care Hub.  It’s a fantastic service for the patients because they can have this specialist testing in their community, in their area and they don’t have to come into hospital.”

Joyce concludes that they can then follow up with their patients which she describes as “more personal and individualised.  Patients get regular follow up every two to three months.  Because this is a chronic condition, it’s lifelong.  So we get to build a relationship with these patients.  And we can stay with them on their journey through their chronic disease.”

Watch Joyce talk about the respiratory service at Bray Integrated Care Hub