Nova Scotia | New collaborative emergency centre launches in Springhill

Springhill | 20120412

People in Springhill now have shorter waits for emergency and primary care. Premier Darrell Dexter officially opened the province’s second collaborative emergency centre at All Saints Hospital today, April 10.

“The grand opening of the province’s second collaborative emergency centre is a key part of government’s commitment to ensure Nova Scotians and their families receive better health care, sooner,” said Premier Dexter. “By bringing emergency departments and local family practices together to work as a team, we are fulfilling that commitment in a way that makes sense.”

Collaborative emergency centres keep emergency rooms open, reduce patient wait times and provide a team-based approach that offers continuity of care. This ensures patients can get the appropriate treatment before a minor health issue turns into a health crisis.

“The highly trained doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, paramedics and other health-care professionals at this collaborative emergency centre are doing an exceptional job, and I want to thank them for their admirable work and support,” said Premier Dexter. “These committed health-care professionals are working diligently to ensure that this facility will continue to be a trusted, integral part of the community.”

The services at the collaborative emergency centre in Springhill include:
— access to primary health care by a team of professionals, including doctors and nurse practitioners, between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., seven days a week
— same-day or next-day access to medical appointments
— 24/7 access to emergency care

During the day, doctors and nurse practitioners are available at the collaborative emergency centre to treat patients. Between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m., a team, including a primary care paramedic and two registered nurses, staffs the centre to ensure patients get the care they need. An EHS oversight physician provides assistance by phone.

“Based on our experience with the first CEC, we are confident this new model will meet the health care needs of this community, as has been the case in Parrsboro,” said Bruce Quigley, CEO of the Cumberland Health Authority. “As we ultimately make the transition to overnight care being provided by two registered nurses in collaboration with the online oversight physician, it will be an opportunity to introduce yet another model of emergency care that builds on the training and expertise of our highly skilled nurses.”

The province will announce at least four more collaborative emergency centres this year.

For more information on the province’s Better Care Sooner plan, visit

Ireland | National Ambulance Service recognized as Centre of Excellence by Intl Academies of Emergency Dispatch

Tullamore | 20120412

HSE National Ambulance Service North Leinster Tullamore Control Centre has again been recognised as one of the best emergency control centres in the world for the way it handles the growing number of 112/999 calls.

The Tullamore Control Centre is one of only a few emergency control facilities in Europe to be accredited as a Centre of Excellence twice over the past four years by the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED). The Re-Accredited status runs from 2012 to 2015.

The International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED) is based in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. It was established in 1988 as a standard-setting organisation in the field of emergency medical dispatch and has grown into a world leader for establishing standards and protocols for safe handling and dispatch for all emergency services.

The accolade acknowledges the effective way the service deals with 112/999 calls coming into its North Leinster Tullamore Control Centre, Co Offaly.

Accreditation as a Centre of Excellence by the IAED is based on a stringent assessment of the services procedures and performance around handling 112/999 calls. This includes listening to and reviewing three per cent of all emergency calls selected at random, to ensure call-handlers are properly identifying the clinical nature of the emergency and providing the right advice to the caller, while an ambulance response is en route.

Beverley Logan, IAED Accreditation Officer said: “This latest re-accreditation is testament to the hard work of everyone involved with answering 112/999 calls. Clearly that includes the team of dedicated call-handlers who are the first point of contact for anyone phoning 112/999 with an emergency often in very stressful situations.

“But there are also many other people who play a vital role in terms of on-going training and ensuring all the services processes are working properly – all with the objective of providing rapid, effective help for patients.”

The latest accreditation certificate was presented to HSE NAS, Midland Division on Thursday, 29th March 2012 at the North Leinster Area Ambulance Control Centre in Tullamore, Co Offaly and will also be recognised at the IAED’s annual  UK Navigator Conference  being held at the Thistle Grand Hotel in Bristol, September 2012.

China | Oriental magpie robin tests positive for H5N1 virus in Hong Kong

Hong Kong | 20120412

A spokesman for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) said today (April 10) that the carcass of an Oriental magpie robin found in Hung Hom last week was confirmed to be H5N1-positive after a series of laboratory tests.

The dead bird was found and collected near 19 Station Lane, Hung Hom, on April 4. The Oriental magpie robin is a common resident bird in Hong Kong.

The AFCD will continue to conduct inspections of poultry farms to ensure that proper precautions against avian influenza have been implemented.

The spokesman reminded people to observe good personal hygiene.

“They should avoid personal contact with wild birds or live poultry and clean their hands thoroughly after coming into contact with them,” he said.