The new Primary Care Centre on the St. Brendan’s Campus, Lake Road, Loughrea has now opened.
The Centre will cover a population of 15,000 people including a network service for Gort, Portumna and Eyrecourt.
Catherine Cunningham, HSE Area Manager, Galway/Roscommon stated; “The HSE is delighted to open the Loughrea Primary Care Centre, which will greatly enhance the delivery of health services in Loughrea and the surrounding areas. The primary care centre will allow the public to have easy access to an increased range of services based in the one location, close to home. It is hoped that only those who require the specialist services available in an acute hospital will need to go to the hospital setting. The development of primary care teams is a key element of our national plan for developing community-based health services.”
Planning for the Primary Care Centre started in 2011 and has finally been completed at a cost of €1m which involved refurbishing a section of the former St Brendan’s Community Nursing Unit. The refurbishment was managed by the HSE Estates Department and the Builders were Purcell’s Construction.
Services have transferred from the Health Centre in Loughrea to the Loughrea Primary Care Centre and the first clinics were held in the new Primary Care Centre last week. Dental services will remain in the Health Centre until mid July and will transfer to the Primary Care Centre after that. Dr Kevin McDonagh, GP, St Brendan’s Medical Centre is now based at the new Centre.
The Loughrea Primary Care Team consists of health and social care professionals covering the Loughrea area. The Primary Care Team was first established in 2009 as part of the ongoing HSE Primary Care Strategy which promotes better joint working between local health staff. The aim of the team is to deliver services in an integrated manner as close to a person’s home as possible. The team consists of Public Health Nurses, Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist, Speech and Language Therapists, Administrative staff, Home Help Co-ordinator working in conjunction with local General Practitioners.
The Loughrea Primary Care Centre, as well as providing services to the local area, provides a base to a range of services which covers a wider Health and Social Care Network area. Theses services include Psychology, Ophthalmology, Ante-natal Outreach Clinics, Counselling and services from TUSLA – the Children and Families Agency – such as Social Work and Family Support.
Other services provided on from the St Brendan’s Campus include the Community Nursing Unit, Day Care, Training Centre and Early Intervention services. Further developments include the transfer of Dental, Mental Health and school ages services by early 2015. The aim is to have a range of Primary, Elderly, Mental Health and Disability services on one site; the ethos of working together benefits not only the patients but also the service providers working from the Primary Care Centre.
Other Primary Care Centres opened in the region in the last number of years include Galway City East, Athenry and Monksland. Planning permission has been granted for a new Primary Care Centre in Mountbellew. It is anticipated that the work will commence in the Autumn 2014 with completion in Spring of 2015. Planning permission is in place for a Primary Care Centre in Tuam, we anticipate commencement in late 2015
The HSE is working to progress short term accommodation to deliver Primary Care services in Portumna.
As part of the overall strategy for development of Primary Care Centres in the region, the Health Centres in Aughrim, Tynagh and Gorteeney which currently utilised for less than a half day per week for GP outreach services and were not utilised by any HSE service, will be closed. The HSE plan to work with the local community and GPs to provide services which are accessible and suitable for patients within these areas.
The contact number for Loughrea Primary Care Centre is 091 872700, the phone number for St Brendan’s Medical Practice is 091 841017.