Mallow Primary Healthcare Centre is named General Healthcare Centre of the Year

Mallow Primary Healthcare Centre was named General Healthcare Centre of the Year at the Annual Healthcare Centre Awards 2014. The award winning centre opened in 2010 and is one of the largest primary healthcare centres in the country. Three Health Service Executive (HSE) primary care teams, in conjunction with GP practices, deliver services to patients living in the north Cork region. 24 new jobs have been created in the centre since it opened.

Dr. Tony Heffernan, GP, Mallow Primary Healthcare Centre, said: “The centre demonstrates the true integration of the HSE and the GP service in Primary Care.”

Yvonne Finn-Orde, HSE General Manager for North Cork, said, “I am delighted that Mallow Primary Care Centre has been recognised at a national forum as a forerunner in delivering primary care services to the community. All of the centre’s staff strive to be excellent at what they do and are continually pushing out the boundaries to introduce new services to the community. They are involved in cutting-edge research and education to improve their services and to ensure that the services delivered are focussed on the needs of the local population. There is a huge level of co-operation and partnership among all staff in the centre in order to meet each patient’s expectations and to deliver to them the best possible services.”

The building is state of the art in computerisation, integration, education and research. General practitioners are developing and delivering enhanced primary care services in the areas of cardiac laboratories, respiratory laboratories, minor operations, dermatology clinics and diagnostics.

The HSE delivers numerous services and initiatives including: public health nursing, community mental health, counselling and maternity outreach clinics, psychology, occupational therapy / dementia, health promotion and education and research.

In the area of psychology, staff have made contributions to the worldwide infant mental health community in 2012 and have established an affiliate Infant Mental Health Group in Ireland to promote the development of infant mental health services in this country. Stress control courses, focusing on identifying and managing stress, were also run in the centre for clients and staff.

Several new services in relation to dementia care are available in the centre. The centre’s memory resource room has a dedicated occupational therapist and the room serves as an informal space where family, carers or people concerned about their memory can speak to a healthcare professional. It is open to anyone living in north Cork. Another such initiative, the Crystal Project, supports people with dementia and their families, but also focuses on supporting staff working with people with dementia.

Health promotion is a key service delivered from the centre. It organises support training sessions for health promoting school co-ordinators and has rolled out a mental and emotional health and well-being programme in north Cork schools for children aged between five and seven years old.

The north Cork quality and safety clinical governance initiative, sponsored by the National Primary Care Steering Group, is undertaking a review of quality and safety in local primary care teams. A primary care management team will then make recommendations for strengthening the structures and processes, including the development of quality improvement action plans.

The centre is also involved with the EARLI Study (Early Admission Risk Likelihood Index), which included a survey of patients aged over 70 who were registered with Mallow Primary Healthcare Centre. Patients surveyed who were found to have a high rate of numerous admissions to hospital and were supported by an intervention team consisting of GPs, Public Health Nurses and Therapists. This resulted in a reduction in emergency hospital admissions for the high risk patients identified.

Specific mental health services which are located in the Mallow Primary Healthcare Centre and cover Mallow and Charleville include: outpatient clinics, social work service, occupational therapy service, clinical nurse specialist – counselling and behaviour therapy, community mental health nursing and clinical psychology service. SouthDoc (GP co-op out-of-hours service) also operates out of the building.