Newry.ie

 A new Urgent Care Helpline is being piloted here with the aim of freeing up GP's time and avoiding crowded waiting rooms during Covid-19.

The Southern Trust’s Emergency Department team has set up the new phone help line for GPs to discuss patients who need urgent care. 

Initially being piloted in the Newry and Mourne area, GPs can speak directly to a senior Emergency Department medic to discuss urgent but non emergency cases. 

Launching the new phone line, Emergency Department Clinical Director, Dr Gareth Hampton said “Whilst we are working hard to reopen the Emergency Department at Daisy Hill and rebuild hospital services, social distancing guidance and anticipation of another wave of Covid-19, means that we need alternative solutions to protect both patients and staff.

“This single point of contact aims to free up GP time from searching for the right clinicians for advice, avoid crowding waiting rooms which risk the spread of infection and reduce waiting times for patients who could be seen by another more appropriate service.

“We encourage GP colleagues to phone us first to discuss stable urgent patients and as always, directly refer those with more acute, critical symptoms to the Emergency Department (at Craigavon for now) or organise an ambulance.” 

Information on how to use the service has been sent directly to GPs.

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