Paediatric Clinics have now resumed at Mayo University Hospital with a number of new measures in place to ensure the clinics can be run safely in the context of Covid-19.
Professor Michael O’Neill, Consultant Paediatrician at Mayo University Hospital (MUH ) explained: "Fortunately over the last number of months the impact of Covid-19 on children has been limited and here in MUH we have seen very few potentially affected children.
"Obviously the pandemic changed how every hospital sees and treats patients and here in Mayo University Hospital we have put a number of measures in place to ensure that our paediatric clinics can run as safely and effectively as possible. We have a Paediatric Decision Unit on the Paediatric ward and we see patients there on an elective basis.
"We have also put a system in place that allows GPs to contact us directly in the Paediatric Department for one hour in the morning.
"This gives GPs the opportunity to discuss their patients directly with the consultant and a decision can be made whether or not the child needs to be referred to hospital. It also means we can plan for any tests that a child might need, such as blood tests or x-rays.
"We have also developed a virtual clinic where we contact parents via video-conferencing and discuss their child’s care. This means that parents and children do not have to attend the hospital if it is not considered clinically necessary and children can be monitored, where appropriate, remotely.
"Our face-to-face clinics have resumed and we are carefully managing the number of children being seen at these clinics. We have an advantage in that our paediatric outpatient’s area opens directly onto the parking area so children can remain in the car and we call parents when it is their time to be seen.”
Catherine Donohoe, Hospital Manager, added: "Our paediatric team has worked really hard over the last number of months to ensure that our younger patients are seen and treated as quickly and safely as possible.
"In paediatrics, as in a number of other specialities across the hospital, we are using technology to help us provide care to our patients. We will continue to further develop the use of technology to support patient care, where clinically appropriate, particularly as we move towards the autumn and winter period."