3,600 patients seen by Doctor On Call service over the holidays

Story by Ann Casey

Wednesday, 9th January, 2019 12:08pm

3,600 patients seen by Doctor On Call service over the holidays

NEDOC - the out of hours doctor on call service - treated almost 3,600 patients over the Christmas period with 236 patients seen in the Navan clinic on Christmas Day and St Stephen’s Day.

It was a very busy Christmas and New Year for the service. From Friday 21st December until 2nd January, NEDoC managed over 5,300 contacts from patients, of which almost 3,600 (67 per cent) were seen via appointment in the treatment centres, and 1,340 (25 per cent) were managed with nurse advice, and a further 240 patients were seen at home.
“It was extremely busy. I want to pay tribute to the staff and doctors who operated the service and the patients who waited to be seen. It can be very difficult having to wait when you are unwell,” said operations manager, Arlene Fitzsimons.
“The two weekends either side of Christmas were extremely busy, with approximately 1,600 patient contacts to the service on each weekend.
“Almost 1,100 patients were given appointments to be seen in the centres each weekend. Over both weekend 130 patients were seen at home with the remaining receiving GP advice on the phone,” she said.
Over the days of Christmas from the evening of the 24th to the morning of 27th December, NEDoC received 1,240 calls, of which 84 were seen in treatment centres; 300 were triaged by nurses; 30 were triaged by doctors and 72 patients were seen at home.
Christmas Day was manageable although 206 patients were seen in the four treatment centres (76 in Navan, 54 in Drogheda, 39 in Cavan and 40 in Castleblaney).
St Stephen's Day saw 474 patients seen in the four treatment centres from the hours of 8am until midnight. Navan had over 160 appointments, Drogheda almost 150; Cavan and Blaney 92 and 94 respectively. The NEDoC service dealt with 670 patient contacts during those hours alone.
New Years Eve and New Years Day were also busy as the service managed over 700 calls, with 460 patients seen in the centre between New Years Even and New Years Day.
Patients are advised that if they need the NEDOC service to please contact 1850 777 911. The HSE’s www.undertheweather.ie website is an excellent resource for information on how to manage common illnesses such as colds, coughs, high temperatures.