We are now in the 3rd wave of the Covid Pandemic which is worse than the first 2 waves.
More than 25% of patients of patients referred for covid swabs from our out of hours service in Galway City over the weekend following New Year’s Eve have come back positive for Covid-19.
We are used to a positivity rate of approximately 3 or 4%.
This means that many people without respiratory symptoms in Galway have Covid.
Galway University Hospital is struggling to cope.
We need to behave as if each person, including all practice staff, has covid.
This is difficult for us and for you.
Your doctors, practice nurses and all the practice staff are all working hard to make sure that we can continue to deliver high quality care to all those who need it.
With a heavy heart, we have had to increase our precautions again for the coming two weeks.
Childhood vaccination visits, antenatal visits, denusomab (Prolia) injections and certain blood tests (eg for those on particular medications) are essential routine care and will continue in person as usual provided those attending have no symptoms of illness.
Everyone else is asked to arrange a phone or video consultation.
Our reception staff will ask you what the problem is. This is so that your care can be prioritized as necessary. Our staff take your confidential information very seriously but if you are not comfortable telling them what the issue is, just say so – they will not be offended!
Phone consultations can be booked online or by phoning reception.
Video consultations can be booked through reception.
Repeat prescriptions can be requested and payments can be made online.
Following a phone or video consultation, a prescription may be securely emailed directly to your pharmacy or you may need to come to the surgery for examination.
In this scenario, you will need to wear a mask and sanitize your hands, on arrival.
Our waiting room is not in use and the door to reception is closed to protect our reception staff.
You may need to wait outside. It is really cold so wrap up warm!!
We will endeavor to minimize your wait.
We will be wearing PPE when we meet you and will have sanitized our clinic room in anticipation of your arrival.
In order to protect you and us, physical visits must be kept to the point but if there are further concerns, these can be discussed by phone or video.
What about the Vaccine? When can I get it?
We are delighted that the Covid vaccine is now a reality and it will be rolled out in the coming months.
We have not yet been notified of when we will receive the vaccine for practice staff or patients but when we do, we will prioritise the most vulnerable of our patients for vaccination first.
We do not have a waiting list so please do not ask to be added to one.
What can I do to stay well?
Get daily exercise (any!!) and eat a largely plant based diet avoiding processed foods insofar as possible. Aim to “eat the rainbow” of different coloured vegetables and fruits throughout the day to maximise nutritional intake. Those who maintain a healthy weight are less likely to suffer from severe Covid-19 symptoms requiring ICU admission.
Take vitamin D – we should all be doing this daily in Ireland as we live at a latitude where it is not possible to get adequate vitamin D from the sun. Vitamin D boosts our ability to fight infection and helps keep our bones and muscles strong.
Stop smoking – or don’t start! Smokers have a much harder time recovering from Covid …in addition to the already long list of negative effects. If you would like to stop smoking, check out quit.ie or talk to us.
Maintain good sleep hygiene.
There is lots of great information available from the hse.