Covid-19: Castleisland Among Community Assessment Hubs for Cork and Kerry

Kealgorm House on Limerick Road, Castleisland was being prepared all last week as a Covid-19 community assessment hub and is due to go into service later this week – a fact which has now been confirmed by the HSE. ©Photograph: John Reidy

Statements just in from HSE communications manager, Mary Smithwick and Cllr. Jackie Healy Rae confirming the imminent opening of the assessment hubs in centres in Cork and Kerry.

The centres will be located as follows: Castleisland – Castleisland Primary Care Centre, Limerick Road; Bantry – Bantry Primary Care Centre; Ballincollig – Old Fort Road and in Mallow at The Gilbert Centre.

The opening of the Castleisland hub at Kealgorm House on the Limerick Road was confirmed last week to The Maine Valley Post after a flurry of comings and goings of delivery vans raised the curiosity of the locals.

A Significant Response

“As part of the significant response to Covid-19 underway across the entire health system, Cork Kerry Community Healthcare plans to open a number of assessment hubs in the community.

“These assessment hubs are for patients who have or may have a confirmed diagnosis of Covid-19 when their GP decides they need a face-to-face clinical assessment.

“Patients can only access these hubs when referred by their GP. Our aim in setting up the hubs is that anyone who needs a face-to-face clinical assessment can get one in the community, as quickly as possible.

Avoiding Referrals to Acute Hospitals

“This will help patients who need assessment but who do not need immediate hospital care to avoid referrals to acute hospitals where possible.

“Once seen at the hub, patients may either be asked to return home, to enter isolation or to attend an acute hospital.

“The hubs will be staffed mostly by GPs with the support teams of healthcare professionals including nurses and physiotherapists, with administrative support.

“We would like to pay tribute to the teams involved in getting these hubs set up and operational for their dedication to patient care.

120 Staff Trained

“People are working extremely hard to get these hubs ready in a very short time.

“Our focus in the coming days is to train and enable the staff who will be working in the hubs, and to ensure GPs are aware on how they will make referrals. There will be 120 staff trained by the end of this week across Cork and Kerry.

“The hubs will open seven days a week, and we expect the opening hours to be from 8.30am to 7.30pm although this will depend on the level of referrals. Patients will only be seen by appointment.

Appointments by GP or SouthDoc Only

It is not possible to make appointments at the hub; this can only be done by your GP or by SouthDoc on Saturday and Sunday.

“We are working to open the hubs at St Mary’s Gurranabraher at the end of this week, with Castleisland, Bantry, Ballincollig and Mallow into next week,” the statement ended.