Children’s Health Ireland (CHI) know that the current guidelines for physical and social distancing are difficult for families and wish to urge patents/guardians not to delay in seeking treatment for their child.
GPs have said that patients are not contacting their GP in good time for advice and seeking appointments. If you feel that you or someone at home needs to see their GP or needs GP advice please do not delay contacting your GPs surgery. If your GPs asks you to attend an appointment please do attend and if you have any concerns please phone your GP in advance for guidance.
Since COVID-19 restrictions on movements were announced (when schools closed) we did see a reduction in attendances at the children’s hospitals EDs and the Urgent Care Centre at Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown. We are also seeing incidences of patients delaying coming to the children’s hospitals with injuries or illness that require an emergency assessment.
Dr Ciara Martin, Consultant in Paediatric Emergency Medicine, CHI said ‘the message from our EDs is if your child needs urgent treatment and care please go to your nearest Emergency Department immediately or dial 999/112 for emergency care. Please do not delay seeking treatment. EDs always prioritise the sickest patients first for treatment. Our EDs at Crumlin and Temple Street Hospitals are safe to attend and are open 24/7. Our Urgent Care Centre at Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown is open for the treatment of minor injuries or illnesses (10am-5pm Mon-Fri)’
We also want to reassure people that our EDs check patients for symptoms of COVID-19 on arrival. After this initial assessment, patients are divided into two separate treatment pathways/tracks i.e. one track for patients who need treatment or assessment for COVID-19 and a separate track for those who require treatment and assessment for other urgent conditions. This is to ensure proper infection control and to help keep patients and staff as safe as we can.
We know that families are putting off attending hospital appointments even when the hospital team has contacted them and advised that they need to attend. If you have an urgent or time critical hospital appointment please attend as advised by your hospital. If you are worried or have concerns please phone the hospital staff. Please do not delay getting your treatment and attending you appointment as advised by your hospital team.