New Cootehill hub to assess Covid patients and ease pressure on Cavan General

Today sees the opening of a Covid-19 Community Assessment Hub (CAH) in Cootehill to try to ease the burden on Cavan General Hospital.

The 'Community Assessment Hub' (CAH) is located in the HSE Community Services Building, 1 Drumlin Drive ( H16 KO94) and will; cater for the population of both Cavan and Monaghan, seven days per week.

The Community Assessment Hub do not provide Covid tests. They are for patients over the age of 16 who are COVID-19 positive or presumptive COVID-19 positive as determined by the criteria applied, and who require assessment. Patients may only be referred to the Community Assessment Hub by a GP or the GP Out Of Hours Services, NEDOC. Those for assessment must have an appointment, which will be confirmed in advance of attendance.

Through the service, the HSE aim to maximise the number of patients with the COVID-19 virus, who can self-care at home, and minimise any inappropriate referrals to Acute Hospital services. Appropriate community assessment and management of patients with confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 will also assist in minimising the risk of community transmission of COVID-19.

The majority of patients assessed in the CAH will be able to return home following assessment, and continue their care and recovery. Some patients seen at the Community Assessment Hub may have an onward referral made for them to a Self Isolation Unit, if self-isolation in their own home cannot be achieved. For others, assessment at the CAH may indicate the need for transfer to the Acute Hospital for treatment.

"Our aim in setting up the hub is that anyone who needs a clinical assessment can get one in the community, as quickly as possible," said Dr Gavin Maguire, GP Clinical Lead for the Cavan Monaghan CAH. "This will assist patients who need assessment but who do not need immediate hospital care, and will avoid referral to the acute hospital where possible."

The Cavan Monaghan CAH will operate initially from 1-5pm, seven days per week. However, the operational procedures/times are subject to change, depending on the demand.

Car parking is available and the facility has the appropriate clinical equipment and supplies in situ ready for patients to be seen.

Josephine Collins, General Manager, Primary Care Services, CHO 1, thanked all the teams involved in getting the CAH operational: “Everyone has been working extremely hard to get this CAH up and running in a very short space of time. We wish to acknowledge the work done by Cavan/Monaghan Primary Care, Dr Gavin Maguire, Infection Prevention and Control and our Estates Colleagues in getting this service operational so quickly. This achievement is a testament to the dedication and commitment of all staff, and has been accomplished by a real team effort.”