Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, has welcomed the findings of the Sláintecare Integration Fund report which show that a Sláintecare-funded project in West Waterford is significantly improving outcomes for patients with heart failure through integrated community-based interventions.

The report found that the Integrated Ambulatory Care Heart Failure Project in Dungarvan successfully reduced waiting times for referral and diagnosis for patients with heart failure from 18 months to 4 weeks.

The report also found that the project reduced echocardiogram waiting times for acute patients in the area to one day, down from three days. The number of hospital admissions diverted exceeded targets set by 150%.

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Commenting on the initiative, Minister Donnelly stated: “To meet the needs of our growing population, Sláintecare is working to deliver the right care, at the right place, delivered at the right time, by the right team.

“Providing ongoing care and diagnostics in a primary care setting, such that it reduces presentations at emergency departments, is a major initiative of Sláintecare. It is excellent to see Sláintecare in action in Dungarvan, where the implementation of outpatient diagnostic appointments succeeded in diverting patients away from hospital settings and improving health outcomes for these patients.”

Minister Donnelly added: “The success of this project in Dungarvan is hugely welcomed as an example of accessible community care at the forefront of healthcare delivery. I am delighted to see that this project, like many others across the health service, is being mainstreamed to receive recurring funding annually.”

Minister of state for Mental Health and Older People, Mary Butler, added: “I would like to commend the work that has been done in Dungarvan to improve the outcomes for heart failure patients and reduce waiting times significantly. The significant advances made in this short period reinforces the importance of integrated community-based interventions.”

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