An Taoiseach Micheál Martin TD recently visited two new integrated care services at St Mary’s Health Campus, on the northside of Cork City. While there he met with Jack O’Donovan from Ballyvolane who was availing of the services of the Older Peoples Hub. Photos: Brian Lougheed

An Taoiseach pays a visit to St Mary’s Campus

An Taoiseach Micheál Martin TD was in Cork recently to visit 2 new integrated care services as the rollout of a €240 million community health programme continues nationwide.

While visiting the new services at St Mary’s Health Campus, the Taoiseach also cut the ribbon at a €30 million 60-bed extension at Heather House Community Nursing Unit.

The 60 new single rooms are all en-suite and will make Heather House one of the largest providers of residential accommodation for older people in Cork.

The new services are part of the national Enhanced Community Care (ECC) programme aimed to reduce pressure on services and dependence on the hospital-centric model of care.

During his visit, the Taoiseach met staff and patients at the 2 new ECC Integrated Care Hubs – a chronic diseases management centre and a hub for older people.

The chronic diseases management centre will open in Grove House later this month and will be 1 of 4 such hubs across Cork and 30 across the country.

It will give community access to specialist services close to home for people living with respiratory, cardiac and endocrine chronic disease and/or multi-morbidity.

The Taoiseach also met people attending an older person’s hub, in operation since March 2022.

The hub helps older people to stay safe and well in their own homes for as long as possible, by helping them to avoid hospital admissions entirely or to shorten hospital stays.

Speaking at the event, the Taoiseach said the St Mary’s campus has always held a special place in the hearts of Cork people and has played a key role in the city’s healthcare system for generations.

He said: “It is heartening to see important new services arriving here and that it will be part of the huge transformation of our health service. It will continue to play a crucial role in keeping people safe, well and healthy at home for as long as possible.

“These new services, added to the new state-of-the-art primary care centre opened here in 2019, will continue the proud tradition of providing quality health services for the people of Cork from the campus,” he concluded.