HSE Community Healthcare West are the latest area to roll out a MOBILE X-RAY service in Counties Roscommon, Galway and Mayo. This service will help older people avoid having to attend Emergency Departments for an x-ray.
The HSE is expanding the free, community-based service to older patients in both public and private nursing homes, community facilities and in their homes on a phased basis. With a GP referral, people will be able to have x-rays taken in their nursing home or facility where they reside instead of having to travel to a hospital. All types of x-rays will be facilitated, including chest, hip/pelvis, knee, wrist and shoulder. Patients do not need a medical card to avail of the service.
If someone has a fall or requires a chest x-ray, the diagnostic team will arrive to their residence and an x-ray exam will take place in their own room. A report will then be shared with the referring doctor within four hours.
John Fitzmaurice, Chief Officer, Community Healthcare West welcomed the initiative which was launched across Galway, Mayo and Roscommon on 6th December; “This mobile x-ray service will offer an enhanced service to older people in the community, avoid attendance at our busy Emergency Departments and ultimately bring services closer to the patient in line with the key aims of Sláintecare.”
Minister for Mental Health and Older People Mary Butler also welcomed the announcement of the phased roll-out, “The pilot programme was very successful, meaning older, frailer patients, and those with complex care needs benefited greatly in avoiding a journey to a busy acute hospital.”
“This national roll-out will be a really important resource especially for those with dementia as traveling to unfamiliar facilities can be very upsetting, while impacting on normal routine. Providing the correct wrap around supports in the community are essential to allow our older population to age well at home. This initiative will also be of great benefit to those living in nursing homes and community facilities on the occasion they may need access to an x-ray as determined by their GP, a great example of patient centred care.”
According to the HSE, over 5,200 patients in Ireland have been referred to the service across more than 245 nursing homes, with over 4,800 hospital transfers avoided for patients up to the end of September.
The HSE has engaged Mobile Medical Diagnostics to provide the service following a public tender process. Further information can be sought at [email protected]