The HSE and GPs in the north west have reached agreement relating to the provision of GP out of hours services.
In July 2013, the HSE received proposals from Caredoc and the General Practitioners (GPs) in NoWDOC relating to the provision of GP out of hours services. Under the proposals the NoWDOC GPs will become members of Caredoc, which will provide administrative / management support and clinical governance to the GP Members.
In a statement issued by the HSE, they say NoWDOC services for patients remain unchanged.
The HSE and Caredoc have entered into extensive discussions on these proposals. The HSE’s objective is to ensure that the out of hours services continue to be delivered in a safe and efficient manner for patients, and that the range and scope of these services are developed and enhanced, in the future, where possible.
The agreement reached by the HSE and Caredoc will come into effect in a seamless manner and will have no adverse impact on the service provided to patients. The agreement will also mean additional administrative support to the GPs.
The transition to the new arrangements will take place on Monday 04 November 2013. The HSE and Caredoc have agreed specific monitoring arrangements to ensure a seamless transition to the new arrangements.
The key points of the HSE / Caredoc agreement are as follows:
1. There will be no change to the service that the patient/caller currently receives; all calls will continue to be handled and triaged in the normal way. The service is by appointment only, therefore all callers to the service will continue to contact the Call Centre at 1850 400 911, before attending any of the Treatment Centres.
2. The service will continue to be called NoWDOC.
3. The HSE will continue to triage all calls in the call centre in Letterkenny, and provide associated supports including vehicles / drivers etc.
4. All GPs in the NoWDOC service (in Donegal and Carrick on Shannon, Co Leitrim) will fully participate in the GP out of hours service. Currently the GPs in Ballyshannon / Bundoran manage their own rotas and are not supported by driver / vehicles etc and under the new arrangement these GPs will now receive additional support.
5. The management of the GP rotas will be carried out by Caredoc.
6. There will be no change to the current Saturday morning services.