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Developmental Health Checks / GP shortage / Dentist service

Rolling post - to be updated as new information arises - this update April 2023


I've been raising a number of health-related issues in recent months namely the shortage of public health nurses in parts of Lucan, the huge unmet demand for GP services in Adamstown and other parts of Lucan and also the need for local dental services in the Palmerstown area. They are all related even though some provision is technically within the private sector.


Below find replies in various sectors, updated as available:


Public Health Nurses and Developmental Health Checks


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April 2023 - Further correspondence issued


As the problem has not been relieved to any extent I've again contacted the HSE about the shortage, seeking an update. I have also written to the Minister for Health requesting a review of the allocation of scarce resources so that there is better equalisation of existing resources in the meantime, pending additional staff being taken on.


Letter to Minister here:

Letter to Minister re PHN and GP shortage
.pdf
Download PDF • 31KB

Reply awaited:


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Public Health Nurse shortage for developmental checks and other roles


April 2023 - Sought update from HSE and included this as part of my letter to Minister of Health.


October 2022 - “I refer to previous correspondence (REPDR 2203091) and would be grateful for an update in the advertisement for and filling of public health nurse positions for Rosse Court and elsewhere in the Lucan area. Given the delay affecting thousands of people in Lucan is there a longer-term solution in place to allow access to be spread out more fairly? Is there another part of Lucan that could service these parents in the interim? Pending any definitive actions can you also: a) Clarify the process for how the crosscover arrangement for priority cases works and how this can be applied for? b) Clarify if there a list of private providers that carry out these developmental checks, just in case some of them can afford to do so.” Cllr Paul Gogarty


Reply: Dear Cllr Gogarty, I refer to the above referenced Representation in relation to an update on Public Health Nursing positions. I have examined the matter and the following outlines the position. The Health Service Executive can confirm there are currently 4.6 PHN vacancies in Lucan. Recent recruitment campaigns have not been successful in recruiting Public Health Nurses into these posts and attendance at Job Fairs in the UK and Ireland has not yielded any interest to date. As an interim measure, a cross cover arrangement for priority cases was put in place. The cross cover arrangement is where a nominated Registered Public Health Nurse (RPHN) from one area completes prioritised case work in a vacant RPHN area. This is based on National Prioritisation Guideline (2022) and this is managed by the Director of Public Health Nursing in line with policy Guidelines. The Health Service Executive is continuing efforts to recruit staff and currently there is a third Community Registered General Nurse Campaign underway. We are not aware of any private providers who provide developmental checks.


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GP shortages


April 2023 - Correspondence issued to HSE and Minister regarding GP shortage and measures to assist


October 2022 - In recent months I submitted a support letter in relation to the change of use for the Agarwal clinic, subsequently granted permission and now operational in Lucan village.

I also met/corresponded with two more qualified practitioners in relation to identifying potential surgery locations in the Adamstown SDZ area. The Council were less than helpful in providing locations of suitable landmark buildings, but it's clear that the amount of leasable space for GPs is quite low currently. One thing I did point out is that anyone can potentially apply for change of use in a house for a GP practice or indeed an extension to an existing dwelling.

The other potential GP location would be within the Adamstown Primary Care facility. As I mentioned in Adamstown updates on my web page and on Facebook, discussions are ongoing in terms of the targeted opening date at 1 Adamstown Boulevard (opposite The Crossings), but there is likely be GP availability at this location at some stage after opening. The state obviously also needs to be make it more attractive for new GPs to open up services, to make up for population increases and a large number of retirements.


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Dentist facility call


December 2022 - With residents from Palmerstown highlighting difficulties with getting timeless access to dental services in Ballyfermot I tabled a motion at Area Committee sending communication to the HSE requesting a review of the potential of Manor Road as suitable dental surgery, either within the HSE provision or as a private practice in terms of encouraging and assisting practitioners in setting up.

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