Shannondoc relocates Nenagh centre to spacious new Gortlandroe facility
Shannondoc, the out-of-hours urgent GP service, is on the move in North Tipperary, with the Nenagh centre relocating this week to a more spacious new facility to enhance the quality of service to patients and workspace for staff.
The Wilton Medical Centre in Gortlandroe (E45KR91) – a 2,500sq ft facility in the Gortlandroe industrial park – is the new home for the out-of-hours service, transferring from the outpatients’ department at Nenagh General Hospital.
The move, which came into effect on Tuesday night, February 9, was necessitated by the need for greater capacity, with the hospital facility only slightly more than half the size of the new space.
The Wilton Medical Centre will comprise a spacious reception area, three treatment rooms, a nebulisation room, staff and public toilet facilities.
From a staff perspective, it will also include a room, kitchen and eating area, generous storage facilities and doctors’ accommodation. The site also provides for ample car parking space.
The Nenagh Centre is the primary Shannondoc hub for North Tipperary and last year handled 11,200 cases. Two doctors are rostered on site every evening with one doctor rostered overnight seven days per week.
Thurles and Roscrea are covered by a mobile doctor based in Thurles, with patients being seen at the respective centres by appointment until 11pm nightly when the overnight Nenagh Centre takes over.
Since North Tipperary joined the Shannondoc Co-op in 2002, the overnight doctor services all areas, ensuring that there is a doctor available throughout the night.
Said Shannondoc Chairperson Dr Ailish Kenny: “This a really positive move for us as it will ensure we have a spacious, warm, well-lit space for urgent out-of-hours services in North Tipperary. This is essential not just for patients but also staff, who work through the night and deserve a fit-for-purpose facility. Another benefit with the move is the location as the Gortlandroe industrial park is very accessible from the motorway network around Nenagh.”
Commenting on the delivery of the out-of-hours service during Covid-19, Dr Kenny said that it has seen a significant change in how people are interacting with Shannondoc.
“Prior to Covid, up to 80% of calls to the service resulted in a patient coming into one of our centres whereas now it’s the opposite. A very large percentage of calls are people with genuine concerns that can be fully resolved by a nurse or a doctor consultation over the phone. If people really need to be seen, then they will.
“Right now, with Covid, a key thing is, of course, to minimise interaction unless where it’s absolutely necessary. The reality is that many calls we receive relate to people with underlying conditions so it’s even more essential now that we can dispense clinical care without having to get people to come out of their homes and into a common area.
“The change has taken some getting used to over the last year, but it’s really bedded down well now. We are managing to limit the need for people to attend the centre and yet the clinical care level is being maintained. Patients are confident in the system now and that’s essential. And for those that do need to be seen, we now have a much-enhanced facility in Nenagh.”