How to Register for Covid Vaccine

The HSE website has everything you might need to know about the Covid Vaccine, from How to Register (with an online guide), Progress updates, and details on the Immunity, Safety and side affects of al the Vaccines in use here in Ireland. For More click here

The Covid 19 Vaccine is Here

“COVID-19 is a highly infectious disease which can cause serious illness, hospitalisation and even death.

The COVID-19 vaccine will offer you protection from COVID-19. If you do catch COVID-19 after vaccination, you should be protected from the serious illness the virus can sometimes cause.

The vaccine is not mandatory. But we strongly recommend that you get the vaccine as soon as it is available to you.

People who are most at risk from COVID-19 will get the vaccine first.

The COVID-19 vaccine is free. The vaccines will not be available privately.

Our aim in offering the vaccine to the population is to protect people and reduce the illness and deaths caused by this virus” -.HSE For more information click here

New year opens with 50 Cases in ICU, 508 Cases in Hospital as positivity rate hits 16%

Information on Covid 19 in Ireland for up to date information see HERE

Latest daily cases 175

Close contacts of Confirmed cases do not automatically get a test

“We are not referring close contacts for testing at the moment. We are prioritising people with symptoms.” – HSE

We are at full capacity for COVID-19 tests and need to prioritise people who have symptoms. Close contacts will not be tested during this time. If you are a close contact you need to restrict your movements (stay at home), even if you feel well. If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 self-isolate (stay in your room) and phone your GP for further advice.

You can get a free test for COVID-19 (coronavirus) if you have symptoms of COVID-19 and your GP thinks you need to be tested.

D Doc GP out of Hours service up and running but with limited capacity

D Doc GP out of Hours service up and running but with limited capacity.

Northdoc will operate a reduced service from 6PM this evening. Our D Doc centres in Coolock, Hartstown and Swords will be open. Appointments must be made prior to calling to our centres. Patients with urgent needs should first call 1850 22 44 77.

All D Doc centres will open tomorrow Saturday and we will also operate an emergency home visit service for palliative care and nursing home patients only. Because of the adverse weather conditions we will only have a limited number of appointments available.

If patients are feeling under the weather with any of the following symptoms,  Flu, colds, coughs, sore throats, ear aches, rash, temperature or tummy problems.) Click here for practical advice

If patients have an emergency they should call 999 or attend the local hospital emergency department.

Issued 02 March 1335hrs

Weather severely curtails D Doc out of hours service

The D Doc service has effectively been suspended from this evening, Thursday, March 1st until at least tomorrow, Friday evening. Callers can avail of nurse triage where they can get urgent advise and special arrangements are in place to assist palliative care cases and emergency nursing home queries.

The decision was made to close the D Doc appointment service on the advice of the  HSE taking into account the Red weather alert in place for Dublin and the Statement by National Emergency Coordination Group

Northdoc, working closely with the HSE will keep the situation under urgent review and services will be resumed as soon as possible.


Northdoc First in Irish healthcare Awards 2017 for GP Innovation

At the Irish Healthcare Awards held in Dublin’s Mansion House Northdoc Medical Services won the award for Innovation. Tom Finn, CEO of Affidea presenting the award said the award was “for outstanding work in the form of improvement or innovations implemented by individuals in a general practice setting in either clinical or practice management level that improves the quality of patient care or helps free up GP time”

Dr Mel Bates, writing earlier this year in the Irish Medical times Said “The out-of-hours service is a very different environment to the familiar surroundings and supports of the daytime GP experience. Northdoc’s ‘Doctor’s handbook’ is a quick reference guide to support doctors working in the DDoc out-of-hours service.

We saw the lack of ‘easy to hand’ material that GPs are used to having in their day work and sought to fill this gap. The guide is a reference for GPs who come across unfamiliar patient presentations such as involuntary admissions, or vulnerable patient groups such as the homeless.

Throughout the handbook there are ‘Traffic Light Systems’ (e.g. sepsis in babies), age based heart and respiratory rates and ibuprofen/paracetamol dosing charts for young children. There are algorithms for acute bronchitis, acute gastroenteritis, colic, UTIs in infants and children, anaphylaxis and guidance on antibiotic dosage.

There is also a section on mental health, which gives guidance and samples of forms “that must be just right” for involuntary admissions. Samples of the MMSE (Mini-Mental State Examination), forms to be filled, and general tips on who to contact and where they can be contacted during out of hours is also included.

There is also useful guidance on vulnerable patient groups, including travellers, victims of assault and domestic violence.

“The patient makes their own assessment of the doctor in the first 20 seconds, hence the handbook includes advice on how to get this right every time.

Dr Mel Bates, Medical Director, Liam Quinn CEO Northdoc, Dr Brid Hollywood, Chair Northdoc, and Dr Des MacDonell, Director of Medical Governance Northdoc

Our own daytime experience may be mainly with children or the elderly. Working an out-of-hours shift, we may come across the homeless or victims of domestic violence or members of the travelling community for the first time. Dr Austin O’Carroll kindly wrote the section on the homeless, Dr Rosemary Gillan wrote on domestic violence, Dr Fiona Moynihan on Traveller’s Health and Dr Deirdre Lundy updated our emergency contraception section.

Profs John Murphy and Alf Nicholson, both of the Children’s University Hospital, Temple Street, kindly gave us permission to reproduce some of their paediatric algorithms in the children’s section of the handbook. These include a quick summary of the management of a number of common childhood ailments that might present out of hours. Child protection issues and how to deal with unaccompanied minors under 16 years of age presenting by themselves are also other important issues out of hours.

Every doctor who wants to work in DDoc for the first time has a face-to-face induction. This focuses particularly on how the system in DDoc works, whether the doctor starts with a car shift or treatment centre shift.

The handbook is colour coded and divided into four separate sections:

  • How it works
  • Children’s health
  • Clinical issues
  • Mental Health

The ‘SAFE’ in the title refers to Northdoc’s commitment to providing a Supported and professional service for both GPs and patients; an ‘Assessment’ system for clinical notes standards; a ‘Familiar’ environment across all the centres; and a commitment to continued ‘Excellence’ in the provision of GP care in North Dublin.

It is now planned to develop a smartphone app, making the advice even easier to access for the busy GP on-call.

The handbook was authored, edited, and designed in-house by Northdoc staff. Illustrations were done by Ciara Winkelmann. 

The Judging panel were Dr Dermot Power, Consultant Geriatrician – Mater hospital, Dara Gantley former editor of the Irish medical times, Dr Ellen O’Sullivan, consultant Anaesthetist – St James’s Hospital, Eoin McAtamney, President – The Pharmaceutical Managers’ Institute of Ireland. Dr Muiris Houston, Medical Journalist – The Irish times and Stephen McMahon, CEO – Irish patients Association.

by Liam Quinn





“If you have symptoms suggestive of measles you should stay at home” – HSE

The HSE have reported 7 cases of Measles in Dublin and Meath.

“If you have symptoms suggestive of measles you should stay at home”, not go to school or work and phone your GP or GP Out of Hours service and explain that you may have measles.

Anyone who develops measles symptoms should:

  • Stay at home and phone your GP or GP Urgent Out of Hours service
  • Tell the doctor or nurse that you think you might have measles
  • Stop visitors coming to the house to prevent spreading the infection

Prevent measles with the MMR vaccine:

  • All children should get MMR at 12 months of age and the second dose at 4-5 years of age.
  • If your child missed their scheduled MMR vaccine dose you should contact your GP to get the age-appropriate dose.
  • If you are an adult born since 1978 and have not received 2 doses of MMR you should contact your GP to get the MMR vaccine.

For full HSE press release click here.


Nearly half of all adults wrongly believe that antibiotics can kill viruses

Nearly half of all adults wrongly believe that antibiotics can kill viruses.

The 2017 Healthy Ireland Survey of 7,500 people has revealed that accurate understanding is lowest among those aged 75 and older.

  • 92% indicate that they are happy to trust their GP’s advice in relation to antibiotics.
  • 67% correctly disagree that antibiotics can work on most coughs and colds, however this declines to 61% of those aged 65 to 74 and 55% of those aged 75 and older.
  • 90% are aware that if taken too frequently, antibiotics may not work in the future.
  • 95% correctly agree that a course of antibiotics should always be completed, and

85% correctly disagree that once you start to feel better you should stop taking the antibiotic.

Of the total survey of 39% were prescribed antibiotics in the last year, 33% were men and 44% for women. Medical card holders were more likely to be prescribed antibiotics (46%) while non-medical card holders were 33%.

To link to the Healthy Ireland survey 2017 click here.

To see the HSE video and advice on antibiotics click here


Northdoc gets top audit marks

“D Doc was best out of 15 co-ops in terms leadership and teamwork”
Irish Medical times Report..
Northdoc, which runs the D Doc out-of-hours (OOH) co-op covering the majority of north Dublin city and county, has outperformed other UK and Irish OOH services in a new audit carried out by the Medical Protection Society (MPS).
MPS found that Northdoc Medical Services was the best out of 15 co-ops stress tested in terms leadership and teamwork, and was in the top quartile for other categories such as communications, resources and training.

Dr Mel Bates – Medical Director – Northdoc

It is understood at least three of the 15 OOH services involved in the voluntary risk audits were Irish co-ops.
MPS said Northdoc had shown “exceptional leadership and unique vision” in clinical oversight of the D Doc service, highlighting the co-op’s ‘SAFE’ (Supported, Appraised, Familiar, Excellence) guidelines for GPs introduced last year.
The indemnifier’s report noted that the clinical notes assessment system implemented and managed by Board members Dr Kate McSweeney and Dr Vivienne Wallace appeared to have had a “positive impact on members, as confirmed by GPs we interviewed during our visit”.
MPS also noted that Northdoc was the first company in Ireland to achieve the International Social Enterprise Mark for its commitment and contribution to the homeless and socially deprived population of north Dublin.. read more