Three New Primary Care Teams launched in West Cork



Three new Primary Care Teams (PCTs) in West Cork – Dunmanway, Skibbereen and Mizen - are being officially launched today, Tuesday 14th October 2008.

The PCTs are initiatives involving local participating GPs with locally based Health Service Executive (HSE) professionals including physiotherapists, occupational therapists, public health nurses, registered general nurses, practice nurses and community mental health nurses, community welfare officers, speech and language therapists, community workers and home help organisers.

The benefit of developing these PCTs is the strong emphasis on moving from a situation where individual doctors and other health service providers work independently and in relative isolation to a situation where increased communication, co-operation and collaboration is facilitated through the establishment of the PCTs. The team approach allows for greater liaison between all the health professionals and ensures more comprehensive care for the patients.

Deirdre Scully, Local Health Manager with the HSE said, “In line with the primary care strategy, these teams will provide an integrated high quality and user friendly services for people in West Cork. Their establishment provides an ideal opportunity to acknowledge the tremendous work of staff on the PCTs in reshaping the services and in making the public aware of the new approach to providing health services in their communities.

Several initiatives have already commenced in the PCTs including the XPERT diabetic programme and the wound assessment clinic. The XPERT programme is a six week, group based education programme for any person with type 2 diabetes. The aim of the programme is that patients would gain more knowledge, skills and confidence to self manage their diabetes. Following on from the six week programme, there is a refresher session at 3 - 6 months and again at 12 months. Input to the course is given by members of the PCTs including dieticians, practice nurses, physiotherapists, GPs and community welfare officers and feedback to date has been really positive.

In 2006, four nurses from the public health nursing department completed a course on wound and leg ulcer management and the Wound Assessment Clinic was set up in each of the PCTs. This is a welcome development, given that, at the time, patients who required wound assessment, particularly in relation to leg ulcers, had to travel up to a 140 mile round trip to one of the Cork City hospitals. The clinics are held monthly in each location. Clients with leg ulcers are seen by a member of the PCT and these clients can subsequently be referred to the Wound Assessment Clinic if it's deemed appropriate,” added Ms. Scully.

Regular clinical meetings are held in all three PCTs. The underlying principal for clinical team meetings is to deliver seamless, comprehensive care to the individual by the PCT including, where appropriate, inputs from specialist services. The PCT members meet regularly to discuss clients/patients enabling a wide range of services and resources for service users to be provided as well as ensuring continuity of care across all disciplines.

Additional Information: 

A new Primary Care Centre opened in Dunmanway in August 2007. This is a joint initiative by two local GPs and the HSE. Many of the clinics are held in the new Primary Care Centre including public health nurses clinics, ophthalmic clinics, school medical service, dietetics and mental health clinics.

Planning permission has been recently submitted for an extension to the current health centre in Schull which once completed would allow for a greater service delivery of primary care to this area.

Last updated on: 13 / 10 / 2008