SHANNONDOC, the ‘out of hours’ GP service for the Mid-West, is anticipating a big increase in demand over the Christmas period with its staff on duty for 238 of the 288 hours from December 23 to January 3.
Phones and clinics will be manned for 83 per cent of the time with up to 10,000 patients expected to be dealt with during that period,
ShannonDoc chairperson Dr Ailish Kenny said that the GP co-op usually deals with about 2,500 patients out-of-hours per week, but this will more or less double over the Christmas when private practices will be closed for public holidays and weekends.
“It’s been a very busy year again for us and we’re readying ourselves, as always, for one last push over the Christmas period, our busiest time of the year,” Dr Kenny stated.
“We have brought in additional resources to deal with the high patient volumes, but we still predict that patient numbers will be significantly higher than normal levels over the Christmas period.
“It’s a challenging period for our team but Shannondoc has evolved over the years and for the better, to a level where we can do this. But it’s really only down to having the excellent and dedicated team we have in place.”
However, she urged patience on behalf of the public while the service works through the Christmas schedule.
“We will have very heavy call volumes across these weeks and staff will be under severe pressure so we would ask that the public be patient as our team will be absolutely doing their best.
“The key thing is that anyone who needs to be seen, will be seen and we will prioritise cases that are more urgent. Above all else, we want people to stay safe and well over Christmas.”
“For people in need of ShannonDoc’s out-of-hours services, our advice is that if it is a routine matter, please visit your own GP during normal operating times but if it is an urgent but non-emergency care issue, please contact us and we will get you the earliest possible appointment.”
The ShannonDoc telephone number is 0818 123 500. No patients should present at a ShannonDoc centre without an appointment. ShannonDoc is not a walk-in service.
Further information at websitwww.shannondoc.ie