Tallaght leads the way nationally for integrated, community-based health care

By Mary Dennehy 

TAOISEACH Leo Varadkar and Health Minister Simon Harris were in Tallaght this morning to officially launch the first Integrated Academic Primary Health Care Centre in the country.

The centre, which is the first of its kind in the country, has created a ‘whole health quarter in the heart of Tallaght”, and hopes to signal the start of Tallaght becoming a ‘wellness village’.

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Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Health Minister Simon Harris in the Russell Centre

Already in operation, the Integrated Academic Primary Health Care Centre in the Russell building, Tallaght Cross, has enabled multi-disciplinary services, previously working independently from across a number of locations, to be accessible to the community from a single site.

The centre also provides the environment for a ‘collaborative approach’ to active community involvement by the HSE, primary care teams, public health nurses, community nurses, practice nurses and the department of Population Health at Trinity College Dublin – which is also housed in the Russell Building.

Some of the services on site include GPs, dieticians, occupational therapy, public health nursing services, a wound dressing clinic, including an out-of-hours wound management clinic, psychology, primary care social work service and speech and language therapy.

The regional audiology services are also located at the centre.

The aim of the primary care hub is to provide people with easy access to a range of services and to also cut down on the number of visits people need to make, for example, to Tallaght University Hospital or further afield for outpatient appointments.

A number of the programmes running in Russell Centre have links to Tallaght University Hospital such as the integrated care programme for older people and respiratory chronic disease management while the Coombe Women’s Infants University Hospital also runs integrated antenatal classes.

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The Russell Centre in Tallaght Cross is open and operational 

Speaking at today’s event Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said: “[This centre] is an incubator and an example of new ways of working that will underpin the integrated healthcare service of the future.”

He also stressed that those involved in the establishment of the centre can be “justifiably proud” of what they have achieved.

According to the HSE, the building is fully operational, with all rooms being used.

More coverage of the new primary care centre in next week's Echo

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