NoWDOC has announced details of its services over the Christmas and New Year period.
The service will provide urgent out of hours GP care as per normal hours in each of the NoWDOC sites at Letterkenny, Carndonagh, Derrybeg, Mountcharles and Carrick-on-Shannon as follows:
From Christmas Eve, December 24 at 6.00pm through to Friday, December 27 at 8.00am;
Friday, December 6.00pm through to Monday, December 30 at 8.00am;
Monday, December 30 at 6.00pm through to Tuesday, December 31 at 8.00am;
New Year’s Eve, December 31 at 6.00pm through to January 2 at 8.00am.
NoWDOC Service Manager, Ms Deirdre Moy 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 explained: “All calls received in the NoWDOC call centre (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.”
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 arrange prescriptions and medicines were arranged with their own GP and pharmacy well ahead of the holiday period.
Ms Moy added: "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.”
She 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.
NoWDOC GP Out Of Hours Service is a partnership between the GP members of Caredoc and the HSE. It 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 around 180,000 people.
NoWDOC 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 Moy 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.”
GP Dr Martin Coyne agreed, saying: “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.”
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