When you call NEDOC
- When you ring a trained receptionist will take your personal details
- Your call will be referred to a triage nurse who will ring you back.
- Discuss with the triage nurse whether you need advice, an appointment or referral to the Emergency Department.
3,600 patients seen in NEDOC
NEDOC received over 6,100 calls over Christmas and New Year - one of the busiest seasons on record for the service. Doctors working over the period saw over 3,600 patients in the four centres of Navan, Cavan, Drogheda and Castleblayney. Nurse triage also advised a further 2,080 patients.
In comparison to last year, the number of calls to the service increased by 9% and the number of patients treated by GPs in the four centres also increased by 9%.
GPs also saw over 250 patients in their homes - calls that were primarily reserved for palliative care, very elderly and infirm patients. Parents are always advised to bring their children into the centre where there are additional supports available including nursing support and additional equipment that may be required.
Over Christmas weekend we received 2,988 contacts, 62% of whom (1,872) were seen by GPs in treatment centres, whilst over the New Year weekend NEDOC received 2,756 calls from patients, of whom 56% (1,546) were seen by GPs in treatment centres.
All four centres were equally busy. The Navan centre managed 1,483 patient contacts of whom 1,255 were seen by GPs in the centre; the Drogheda centre saw 1,246 patients of the 1,452 contacts; the Cavan centre managed 710 patient contacts of whom 577 were seen in the centre by GPs and the Castleblayney centre managed 673 contacts, of whom 536 were seen in the centre.
These past two Christmas/New Years have been extremely busy according to Arlene Fitzsimons, Operations Manager of NEDOC; “Christmas and New Year 2016 and 2017 have been extraordinarily busy as appointments booked up hours in advance. Each weekend of Christmas and New Year appointments were booked through the night. We had multiple doctors rostered each day in each centre. Doctors were seeing 25-35 patients during a six-hour session, where there was more than two, three or four doctors on duty at a time. Our overnight doctors – of which there is only one on duty from 11pm each night in each centre – were managing an overflow from the evenings, resulting in +30 patient consultations from 10pm until 8am. This included triaging patients on the phone and undertaking home visits.”
“It is only through the commitment and dedication of all the staff - all the doctors, nurses, triagers, receptionists, call takers and drivers - that we can continue to deliver this level of service. I would like to thank them all for their tremendous effort in managing this huge workload over Christmas and New Year."
Dr Illona Duffy, Medical Director of NEDOC noted the presentation of a lot of routine illness, "we saw a lot of viral illness in the service this season that can ordinarily be self-managed at home. However when there is a four-day bank holiday, patients often want the reassurance of seeing a doctor and this puts a high demand on the service. We are always concerned at such that we have enough time to give to see the sickest patients. When the service is under such pressure that doctors are seeing 20-30 patients on a shift there is always a concern that something will be missed. This is why we insist on patients ringing first to be triaged, as the nurses will advise patients to go directly to hospital if they feel symptoms are sufficient to warrant hospitalisation. They do not do this lightly, and I would urge patients to take their advice in this regard."
"We anticipate that the pressure on the service will continue as we are experiencing an increase in flu symptoms in both day time and OOH. Patients who have an underlying illness or who are at higher risk should still get the flu vaccine if they have not already done so. Patients that are routinely well, but who experience sudden onset of flu symptoms such as high temperatures/fever plus cough, or sore throat, fatigue, headache, bodyache should stay in bed and rest, take plenty of fluids, over the counter remedies from pharmacies to relieve coughs and sore throat. Ring NEDOC on 1850 777 911 if you are not improving."
Log onto http://undertheweather.ie/ailment/flu for further information on managing common illness and cold/flu.
Cavan : General Hospital
Castleblayney : Bree Road, Castleblayney
Drogheda : Cottage Hospital, Scarlett Street, Drogheda
Navan : Our Lady's Hospital, NavanMore Details