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Ennis Hospital now has its first Allied Health Multi-Disciplinary Team

Members of the Allied Health MDT at Ennis Hospital: (from left) Cathy Begley, Senior Dietician; Frances Shinkins, Senior Speech and Language Therapist; Gregory Malice, Senior Physiotherapist; Carol Whyms, Occupational Therapist and Mary Callinan, Senior Practitioner Medical Social Worker.

Ennis ¦ May 30th, 2024 - ENNIS Hospital has just passed a major milestone in its continuing service development with the formation of the hospital’s first ever dedicated Multi-Disciplinary Team of Allied Health professionals.

The move complements Ennis’s existing physiotherapy team with a full time dietitian, a speech and language therapist, two occupational therapists and a medical social worker, providing the hospital’s inpatients with access to a full range of allied health disciplines.

This will lead to more efficient and safer discharges or transfer of patients from Ennis Hospital, either to their homes or to community residential care, in line with clinical model of care criteria that emphasise the need to address not only the admitting diagnosis of the patient, but also the complex needs of the individual during hospital stays.

Shirley Real, Allied Health lead, UL Hospitals Group explained: “The benefit of full Allied Health teams in acute hospital settings arises from the requirement to address the total needs of the patient, and not just their acute illness. So there is an immediate benefit to patients in the hospital. Up to this point, only physiotherapy and dietetics was available in Ennis, so this provides more comprehensive support for their assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation, as well as planning for their discharge.”

She added: “Increased Allied Health support in Ennis benefits UL Hospitals Group by furthering our efforts to fulfil the Sláintecare principle of ensuring that each patient has the opportunity to receive the right care, in the right place, at the right time, by the right team.”

“Rehabilitation is core to the care of people, particularly in a hospital like Ennis, where patients tend to have an older age profile, and are likely to have needs that are more complex. Rehab ensures earlier discharge, and safer discharge, which in turn means that re-admission becomes less likely,” Ms Real added.

Ennis Hospital already enjoys a high degree of patient satisfaction, and the implementation of an Allied Health team on the site also helps to address issues for improvement identified by patients. In the last National Inpatient Experience Survey in December 2022, 87% of patients surveyed had a good to very good overall experience in Ennis Hospital, and identified ‘discharge or transfer’ as an area for improvement.

Shirley Real concluded: “The final appointment to this core team was made at the end of March, and we look forward to verifying the positive impact for inpatients in Ennis, during their stay and following their discharge from the hospital.”