New Cork care centre to cut emergency waiting times

Tue, Mar 20, 2012, 00:00

THE OPENING of a new urgent care centre in the grounds of a former orthopaedic hospital in Cork will provide a speedy service for people suffering from minor injuries while reducing waiting times at the city’s major emergency departments, a senior medic has predicted.

Consultant in emergency medicine Dr Gerry McCarthy welcomed the official opening of the Mercy Urgent Care Centre at St Mary’s Health Campus in Gurranebraher on Cork’s north side as an essential part of HSE South’s network of emergency services in Cork.

“It is vital we reorganise emergency services in order to provide the most appropriate care to the people of Cork, and the establishment of the Mercy Urgent Care Centre on St Mary’s Health Campus is a significant development in that regard.

“The new urgent care centre will ensure that people attending with injuries that are unlikely to require hospital admission will be seen speedily and discharged, thus saving unnecessary attendances at our emergency departments.”

The new centre will treat patients aged 10 and over for minor injuries such as suspected broken bones, minor burns, scalds and cuts requiring stitching, which typically account for 40-50 per cent of presentations at emergency departments.

The centre, which is under the governance of Mercy University Hospital, will have X-ray and plaster cast-making facilities, and will open from 8am to 6pm, seven days a week. It will treat people from the city and county who self-refer or are referred by GPs or Southdoc.

Staffed by 15 medical professionals, the centre will be headed by a consultant in emergency medicine and will also include doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and radiographers.

The centre marks an €800,000 investment by the HSE.

HSE South regional director of operations Pat Healy said it reflected the agency’s commitment to retain health services on the site following the transfer of orthopaedic services to the South Infirmary Victoria Hospital.

Mercy University Hospital chief executive Sandra Daly said the new facility reaffirmed Mercy’s pivotal role in the provision of emergency services in Cork and the region while also strengthening Mercy’s working relationships with other hospitals in the city.