NoWDOC out-of-hours GP service - Donegal and south Leitrim

The NoWDOC GP Out Of Hours Service is a partnership between the GP members of Caredoc and the HSE and provides an urgent GP family Doctor service to patients of GP members in Co Donegal and south Leitrim.  The service deals with approximately 60,000 calls per annum for a population of approximately 180,000 people.  The Service is delivered from a number of locations (Letterkenny, Carndonagh, Derrybeg, Mountcharles and Carrick on Shannon) within the region, with our Call Centre and Admin Offices based in Letterkenny, Co Donegal.

The NoWDOC Service has recently procured five vehicles which are driven by drivers employed by NoWDOC to transport GPS to calls in a variety of locations as necessary in a safe and timely manner.  Tenders were invited from car suppliers for the procurement of NoWDOC vehicles.  DMG Motors, Donegal Town were the successful tender to supply five Skoda Octavia Scout 4x4 vehicles for each of the NoWDOC Centres.  

Ms Deirdre Moy, NoWDOC Service Manager, welcomed the new vehicles saying ‘I am delighted that the procurement of five new vehicles will improve the service provided due to the very nature of the NoWDOC Service.  These vehicles are provided to a specification which will meet our needs in all foreseeable circumstances, including adverse weather conditions or difficult terrain’.

According to Dr Martin Coyne, GP, “Home visits continue to be an important part of out of hours urgent GP services. These visits are for those few patients who have appropriate clinical needs, such as bed bound elderly, nursing home patients and end of life care.   Donegal roads are not motorways and it is important to arrive safely and in comfort. The new vehicles are welcome replacement after 10 years reliable and faithful service of the older Skoda Cars. The four-wheel drive capability is essential in winter weather.”

The NoWDOC Service Manager, Ms Deirdre Moy further outlined what services will be in place over the Christmas holiday period.  She advised that the service is designed to provide urgent GP care to patients and is not a substitute for the Emergency Ambulance Service who are the appropriate service to deal with medical emergencies where they arise.

She stated that “all calls received in the NoWDOC call centre (Tel:  1850 400 911) are initially assessed by trained and qualified Nursing clinicians.  On completion of the nursing triage process a clinical decision will be made regarding the appropriate level of care as patients can be seen by a GP in one of our main treatment centres which are located in Letterkenny, Carndonagh, Mountcharles, Derrybeg and Carrick-on-Shannon.  All consultations in the NoWDOC service are by appointment only and the location of the centre which the patient will attend is agreed in advance with the patient during the process".

Over the Christmas and New Year period the service will be providing urgent Out of Hours GP care to patients who require same and that the service will operate as per normal hours in each of the NoWDOC sites as per the following information.

Christmas and New Year opening hours

Christmas Eve, 24th December 18:00hrs through to 08:00hrs on Friday 27th December

Friday 27th December 18:00hrs through to 08:00hrs on Monday, 30th December

Monday 30th December 18:00hrs through to 08:00hrs on Tuesday 31st December

New Year's Eve, 31st December 18:00hrs through to 08:00hrs on Thursday 2nd January

NoWDOC opening hours in each of our centres will operate as normal outside of the holiday periods as set out above.

Note: Letterkenny and Inishowen GPs operate their own surgeries on Saturday morning up to 12 midday and thereafter patients in the Letterkenny and Inishowen areas should contact NoWDOC.

Ms Moy reminded all patients and service users that the service is normally very busy over the Christmas and New Year periods and waiting times may be longer than normal.  She also advised that patients and service users should ensure that prescriptions and medicines are arranged with their own GP and pharmacy before the holiday period commences on Friday December 20th December 2019.

In conclusion and on behalf of the NoWDOC service Ms Moy stated "The entire team of staff and GPs in NoWDOC would like to extend our good wishes to all of our patients and service users for the festive period”. Ms Moy also acknowledged "the hard work and commitment of the staff and GPs who work throughout the year and particularly over the festive period to provide this service”.

Last updated on: 13 / 12 / 2019