A NEW chronic disease management hub delivering services to patients with cardiovascular disease, respiratory illnesses and Type II Diabetes is to be rolled out in Clare, the HSE have confirmed.

Clare currently has a lengthy waiting lists for podiatry services with 542 patients waiting to be called for their first appointment and 3,461 patients on the active database in the county.

20 full-time specialist roles are to be assigned to the Chronic Disease Team in Clare based at the new Primary Care Centre on the Station Rd in Ennis, the HSE stated with the services to be provided in a “hub and spike model”. The facility is to become operational by the third quarter of this year but the addition of staff may take longer.

The positions include Specialist, Senior and Staff Grade Podiatrists; Senior and Staff Grade Dieticians; Diabetic Clinical Nurse Specialists; Clinical Specialist; Senior and Staff grade Physiotherapists; Respiratory Clinical Nurse Specialists; Cardiology Clinical Nurse Specialists; Staff Nurse; Staff Grade Clinical Psychologist; and Managerial and Administrative support. A spokesperson for the HSE outlined, “It is difficult to say when the full Chronic Disease Team in Clare will be in place as some grades of posts are extremely difficult to recruit. It is estimated that the full roll out if the Chronic Disease service across the country will take approximately three years”.

There will also be three additional clinical and diagnostic chronic disease posts created at University Hospital Limerick.

Waiting times in Clare will be “greatly reduced” as a result, Michael McNamara TD (IND) predicted. He tabled a parliamentary question on the matter and welcomed the announcement that recruitment was already underway, the Chronic Disease Lead has already been appointed. He said the new primary care centre would have a strong focus on delivering a range of services on an outreach basis across the county, including Cardiac Rehabilitation, Pulmonary Rehabilitation; Diabetes Self-Management Education; and Diagnostic Services by specialist community teams.

Deputy McNamara said he hoped the establishment of a new Chronic Disease Management Hub in Clare would lead to a dramatic reduction in the significant number of patients waiting for a podiatry appointment in the county. “There currently is only two Senior Podiatrists and one Staff Grade Podiatrist delivering podiatry services in Clare where there are 3,461 patients on the active database and 542 patients waiting to be called for the first appointment”.

He added, “The HSE says the government restrictions and Infection Prevention Control guidelines introduced during the pandemic had an impact on their capacity to see non-urgent cases what has resulted in the waiting list backlog. I look forward to a significant reduction in the waiting times for podiatry services with the establishment of the new Chronic Disease services in the county”.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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