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Minister Alex White to open New Primary Care Centre in West Cork

The Mizen Primary Care Centre in Schull was officially opened by, Mr Alex White TD, Minister of State at the Department of Health with responsibility for Primary Care.  The Mizen Primary Care Centre (PCC) covers the Mizen Peninsula spanning Goleen, Crookhaven, Schull, Ballydehob, Durrus and all surrounding rural areas ensuring that people can receive a wide range of health and social services, from GPs and HSE health professionals, as close to home as possible. The HSE staff and the GPs based in the primary care centre work closely to provide integrated care and locally based services to people in the area and, collectively, are known as a primary care team.

The Mizen PCC comprises two GPs, Dr Brian O Connell and Dr Helen Finlay, two practice nurses and support staff. The GPs provide a range of medical services to the community, which comprises a high percentage of elderly patients. Being a popular holiday destination, the GPs also provide a service to both national and international visitors to the area. Dr. Brian O’Connell, Mizen Medical Practice says, “Working closely as a team alongside our HSE colleagues, this new state of the art Primary Care Centre has become a busy central hub providing vital health services to the entire Mizen Peninsula in West Cork.”

The HSE services provided at Mizen Primary Care Centre include Public Health and Community Nursing, Home Support Office, Dietetics, Physiotherapy, Speech & Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Podiatry, Community Mental Health Team, Dietetics and the Community Dental Clinic. Working together as part of a primary care team ensures people have access to a range of services locally. This enhances the plan of care for patients with complex needs and contributes to a reduction in the number of people admitted to hospital. Greater liaison between all health professionals involved in an individual’s care also facilitates earlier discharge home from hospital.

Ger Reaney, Area Manager HSE Cork said, “The development of the Primary Care Centre has allowed for increased communication and joint working among health professionals, which has resulted in more cohesive and comprehensive care for local people. It has enabled the Primary Care Team and Health and Social Care colleagues to provide a range of services in one central location. The Primary Care Team also continues to work closely with the local Community Hospital in Schull.

Gabrielle O’Keeffe, HSE General Manager, Primary and Community Care in Cork South said, “The development of this Centre is very welcome; all who work in the Mizen Primary Care Centre are fully committed to providing integrated and high quality health services for the people of the Mizen Peninsula and surrounding areas as well as the residents of Long Island. The provision of good community services in this remote area is of paramount importance, considering the high dependency elderly population, the distance from Bantry General Hospital and the acute hospitals in Cork City.”

Mr.Alex White TD, Minister of State at the Department of Health with responsibility for Primary Care said “Since this Government came into power in March 2011, 37 primary care centres have opened and infrastructure development is underway or at an advanced planning stage at a further 43 locations where delivery is expected over the period 2014 to 2016/early 2017.

We are now building on the considerable work done by the HSE’s Estates Office in 2012. That project set out to rank every primary care area in the country so that there is now a transparent list of locations and a system to identify the locations that must, in equity terms, have priority investment. Equitable investment, not just in terms of infrastructure, but also in terms of the adequate staff resources required to delivery health care services.”

Ends.

For further information please contact: Communications Directorate, HSE South,  Tel: 021 4928523 E-mail: communications@hse.ie