The Laois Coronavirus Clinical Assessment Hub is open for patients this week.
Back at the end of March, we brought you the news that a Clinical Assessment Hub had been set up on the grounds of St Fintan’s Hospital in Portlaoise.
Little activity has been spotted on the site since but the HSE has confirmed that it is operational this week.
The Clinical Assessment Hubs (CAHs) are being set up so that COVID-19 positive patients (confirmed and presumptive) who require a face to face clinical assessment can attend a community based unit as near as possible to where they live.
The aim is to divert symptomatic patients who require medical assessment away from the acute hospital system and GP practices by providing a facility in the community in which the patient can be seen and clinically assessed by a team of doctors and other healthcare professionals such as nurses and physiotherapists.
Other members of the team include clerical support and domestic staff.
The HSE says: “The National Plan identifies a 7 day service from 8am to 8pm. The CAH’s have opened on an initial phased basis Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.
“However the CAH’s teams will monitor the service demands and the opening of the CAH’s will reflect local need.”
Attendance is by appointment only following a GP referral. There is no walk in capacity.
The service is designed to accept referrals and to issue appointments within 24 hours, however, 48 hours has been defined as the maximum pre-booking period for safety reasons.
Any patient who attends a CAH may expect one of the following three outcomes:
- The patient returns home with advice.
- Referred onto a hospital.
- Referred to a self-isolation unit.
A copy of the assessment outcome will be provided to the patient for the information of their next point of care and/or their own GP.
Meanwhile, the HSE also confirmed that the testing facility on the site of the Laois GAA grounds will be open this week if there is sufficient demand for tests.