Westdoc, the out of hours GP service, is appealing to people to only contact it if they require urgent GP medical care over the festive period.
Ms Siobhan O’Sullivan, Westdoc manager, says by people observing this appeal it will help it provide the best service.
“We are requesting patients to be mindful that the Westdoc service is only for patients who require urgent GP medical care.”
Dr Greg Kelly, Westdoc’s clinical director, says the GP co-operative’s primary concern is to provide urgent GP care to patients of participating doctors who become ill outside regular surgery hours.
“It is critical that these patients can access the Westdoc service promptly. If patients call for non-urgent or routine matters it prevents the system operating at its best for those who really need it.”
Christmas is Westdoc’s busiest time of year, according to Ms O’Sullivan. “ There are three public holidays between Christmas and the New Year which Westdoc cover in addition to its usual evening and weekend service. While it is hard for the GPs and Westdoc staff missing out on this festive time they are committed to covering out of hours GP medical care needs in the communities they serve.
“Westdoc will be providing its normal range of services as deemed medically appropriate including free nurse advice. Westdoc is an appointment only service where patients of Westdoc GP members require urgent or emergency GP care they can telephone Westdoc on the lo-call number 1850 365 000. Where possible patients should contact their own GP who will be running surgeries over the Christmas period as set out below.
1. People calling Westdoc are asked to have the following information to hand - the patient’s name, if known to you;
- Contact telephone number - landline if possible or mobile if you don’t have a landline;
- Current location of the patient;
- Patient’s date of birth or age;
- Name of the patient’s own GP or family doctor;
- Patient’s medical card details if applicable and
- Details of any current medication.
2. If you think the patient is in immediate danger say so as soon as your call is answered and then follow the instructions.
3. Do not call for routine matters that can wait until your doctor is back in his/her surgery.
4. Make sure that you get prescriptions filled so that you have enough medication over the holiday season.
5. Have your medicine cabinet/first aid box stocked. It is always useful to have the following items in your home:-
Antihistamines (for allergies )
Anti-emetics (tummy upsets )