Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, is in Donegal today to officially open a number of initiatives.
The minister launched the Enhanced Community Care (ECC) Programme for Donegal and officially opened Buncrana and Newtowncunningham Primary Care Centres.
The ECC is part of the €240 million nationwide rollout.
Developed as part of implementing Sláintecare, the ECC programme aims to ensure all HSE primary and community care services work in an integrated way to meet population health needs across Ireland.
It also aims to reduce dependence on hospital services and provide access to consultant-led specialist services in the community.
The ECC programme is already making substantial progress nationally, the minister said, reducing pressure on services.
Minister Donnelly officially opened the Errigal Chronic Disease Management (CDM) Hub, in Letterkenny.
There are a number of Specialist Integrated community and acute Chronic Disease Management Teams delivering services from the Hub.
This enables the delivery of specialist care to those with chronic diseases namely Respiratory, Cardiology and Diabetes.
The service allows for early diagnosis, intervention and education for patients living with chronic disease in Donegal empowering patients to manage their chronic conditions at home and offering alternative care pathways and access to clinical specialist advice resulting in increased hospital avoidance.
Future plans for service delivery include a new x-ray facility, the co-location of clinical GP Out of Hours Services and the establishment of Spirometry Services at Errigal CDM Hub.
Meeting staff and patients, Minister Donnelly said: “The ECC programme is a huge investment in community healthcare services in the HSE, aiming to provide more services closer to people’s homes, and provide extra services for older people, or people who live with long-term health conditions.”
Minister Donnelly also performed the official opening of Buncrana Primary Care Centre, and ribbon cutting ceremony at Netwowncunninghan Primary Care Centre.
Buncrana Primary Care Centre has been operational since September 2022.
It accommodates a range of services such as GP Services, Dental, Public Health Nursing, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech & Language Therapy, Social Work, Home Support, Civil Registration, Psychology, Dietetics, Podiatry, Community Palliative Care (Nursing), Community Intervention Team (Nursing), and Mental Health Services.
The centre is used by the Children’s Disability Network Team to provide local services. There are also a number of visiting clinics including Health Promotion and Improvement Services. GPs from the Buncrana medical centre have relocated to the new building.
Newtowncunningham Primary Care Centre has been in operation since August.
It accommodates a range of services including Public Health Nursing, Physiotherapy, and Occupational Therapy. There are also a number of visiting clinics including Speech and Language Therapy, Dietetics, Psychology and Ophthalmology. GPs from the Castle Medical Centre have relocated to the new Primary Care Centre.