Vhi SwiftCare Clinics: when it’s not an emergency but it feels like one
Vhi SwiftCare Clinics are well known for their speedy, caring attention and now their role in treating minor injuries is becoming a trademark too
Vhi SwiftCare Clinics are designed to treat fractures, sprains or possible breaks, lacerations or cuts that need stitching, sports injuries, minor burns and scalds
Vhi SwiftCare Clinics first opened their doors in 2005, bringing with them a whole new approach to health care. By providing speedy, efficient and friendly medical attention in comfortable surroundings, they helped take the sting out of minor injuries and illnesses.
“We recognised that the healthcare service wasn’t providing a choice for patients with minor injuries and illnesses who had no option but to visit their local accident and emergency department if they needed an x-ray, suffered a sprain or needed a stitch. This meant a long wait for these patients as accident and emergency services are obviously primarily focussed on treating much more serious cases,” says Marie Collier, marketing communications manager at Vhi Healthcare.
“From a patient perspective, the introduction of the Vhi SwiftCare Clinics, Ireland’s first urgent care centres, meant they could visit a state of the art facility, be treated within an hour by top-class medical teams while also availing of amenities such as free coffee and toys for kids.”
Today she knows the value of the Vhi SwiftCare proposition not just from a professional perspective, but as a parent.
“I ended up going to Vhi SwiftCare with my own son recently, who was two-and-a-half at the time, after he fell and needed stitches. We went to the Vhi SwiftCare Clinic and the injury was dealt with within an hour."
Vhi SwiftCare Clinics are not suitable in all cases she points out. For example, they don’t treat babies under 12 months at all. “Also if you have serious cardiac problems, or anything that requires an ambulance, Vhi SwiftCare is not the facility for you.”
Vhi SwiftCare Clinics are designed to treat fractures, sprains or possible breaks, lacerations or cuts that need stitching, sports injuries, minor burns and scalds. It also treats minor illnesses including fever, infections and rashes, eye injuries, insect and animal bites, as well as joint, muscular and back pain.
As well as cardiac issues or chest pains, Vhi SwiftCare Clinics are not the place to go for patients with serious breathing difficulties or loss of consciousness, serious head, back and neck injuries, or severe stomach pain. Neither are they suitable in case of severe burns.
For all other cases, by offering a speedy service, where patients are often seen within minutes, they provide enormous value by preventing minor ailments from turning into a major drama involving long waits. They also provide peace of mind in circumstances where a person does not feel the need to go a hospital A&E for a minor illness or injury, but would benefit from medical attention all the same.
As well as the Vhi SwiftCare Clinics’ walk-in service for minor injuries and illness, patients can book an appointment for a range of minor procedures, including treatments for skin conditions such as lesions and cysts, in-grown toenails, warts and verrucae, for example. “Our minor procedures generally take 20 to 30 minutes and are relatively painless,” she says.
Providing x-ray facilities for walk-in patients, patients can also present with an x-ray referral letter from their GP, in which case the x-ray will be carried out and the results sent back to the GP within three hours. In such cases there is no need to be seen by a Vhi SwiftCare doctor, meaning patients pay only for the x-ray service.
Vhi SwiftCare runs regular physiotherapy clinics too, for which no referral letter is required. These treat sports injuries, orthopaedic injuries, repetitive strain, rehabilitation programmes, back pain and musculoskeletal injuries.
And Vhi SwiftCare in Dundrum offers dental treatment, available seven days a week, with flexible appointments and a walk-in dental emergency service.
So, for a range of minor injuries and illnesses at Vhi SwiftCare Clinics you can rest assured, the doctor will see you now.
There are three Vhi SwiftCare Clinics. These are located in Dundrum and Swords in Dublin, and in Mahon in Cork. Each is open from 8am until 10pm, 365 days a year.
For more see www.vhi.ie/swiftcare