GPs have gone above and beyond the call of duty during the coronavirus pandemic and are prepared to help tackle problems within nursing homes, the president of the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) has said.
Dr Mary Favier, a Cork-based GP and President of the ICGP, said: “GPs have stepped up to the mark across the country in dealing with the Covid-19 crisis.
“They are dealing with this crisis in their surgeries, in community assessment hubs and in nursing homes.
“Safe ways of delivering ongoing clinical care to patients which respect the patient, relatives and staff are under constant review depending on the situation and intervention required.”
Dr Denis McCauley, Chairman of the GP Committee of the Irish Medical Organisation, said it was “important to note that on-site consultations can bring an infection risk for staff and patients within the nursing home and it is important that such consultations are only carried out where necessary.
“GPs across the country are working hard to support vulnerable patients in nursing homes through both personal visits and phone-based consultations.”
The ICGP and the IMO said discussions are currently taking place with the HSE as to how GPs can enhance their support for patients in some particularly challenging nursing homes which have clusters of Covid-19 positive residents.
A statement from the organisations said any new arrangements “will reflect the new regime for testing of nursing home residents and the establishment of Crisis Teams for the nursing home sector.”
The statement stressed that while there are significant problems in some areas, many of these facilities are not experiencing the same problems.