Northdoc provides doctors for D Doc, the out of hours GP care or surgery for patients in North Dublin with urgent medical problems who need to contact a doctor after GP surgeries close. The service operates from 18:00 hrs through 08:00 hrs Monday to Friday and 24 hours Saturday, Sunday and all bank and public holidays.
Social Impact Declaration: Social-Impact-Declaration_NorthDoc.pdf
Social Impact Statements:
Social Impact Statements
The Social Enterprise Mark criteria includes a requirement that the applicant can demonstrate that social and/or environmental objectives are being achieved.
In support of this, new applicants and renewing Mark holders must submit Social Impact Statements that summarise their headline activities and achievements, helping show how they are striving to make a difference and stand up to scrutiny of purpose as a social enterprise.
1) Ensuring access to health care for all
Northdoc’s area of operation includes low income groups and significant areas of social deprivation. People who are deemed eligible for free health care do not always get it. This is sometimes because of the bureaucratic nature of the application process.
For a variety of reasons, a significant group, particularly homeless people, (no fixed abode, chaotic lifestyle, poor social skills) will never likely become part of the system that is there to serve them. In general the homeless population fall between been those patients described as “private” and those described as “public” patients, in other words they are not registered on a systems and are therefore excluded from a range of healthcare services. Our fundamental commitment is to ensuring that at least primary GP care will be provided to these people in the out of hours setting.
We also work closely with like-minded organisations, such as Safetynet, a networking organisation for nurses, doctors, and voluntary agencies providing primary health care to homeless people. They provide clinics for homeless people without medical cards and medical card holders whose GP is based outside Dublin and is inaccessible. This insures that there is an easy pathway to services for those people living on the margins of society.
Northdoc, working with Safetynet has arranged, and paid for, an x ray Service of the homeless and prison population in North Dublin in order to establish the level of increase in TB in this population.
2) Facilitating training of GPs and facilitating hands on training in areas of social deprivation
Northdoc works closely with the North Dublin GP training Scheme. As well as opening our GP our of hours roster to these GPs the school facilitates training in a rage of community services.
In its 4th year, trainees will spend one day per week in a special interest post in the areas of addiction, homelessness and community service. Each trainee will spend four months in each of these areas. These posts are considered as programme-prescribed study leave. Trainees will have a maximum of a further 5 study leave days in 4th year.
As part of their out of hours work in 3rd and 4th year, trainees are encouraged to work on the well-established Outreach Bus which provides healthcare services to hard-to-reach groups in Dublin's inner city. Currently, the bus works in association with Dublin Simon, Chrysalis and Safetynet.
Safetynet aims to engage patients in health services that are not in contact with health services. This objective is achieved through the provision of medical services in homeless hostels and community based support services; the D-Doc Out of Hours GP service for homeless people; and a Mobile Health Clinic for homeless people and female sex workers.
In 2015 Northdoc sponsored (in full) the production of a video which is aimed at new GP trainees and provides an overview of the GP training experience in working in the Safetynet environment.
3) Talk about it – The Northdoc Podcast
Northdoc are currently setting up a podcast on Health with specific emphasis on areas where medicine meets social need and challenges. The aim is to create a space for ideas – to give light to the best research that so often sits on shelves soon after completion. We want to create a zone where the public can listen to GPs discussing health in a candid manner and, of course for the public, especially those with no public voice, to be heard by GPs. Education – of GPs and the public – is the idea here.
We will have interviews with GPs operating in areas of social depravation. Each broadcast will be on a new topic – we will be starting with GPs who are currently in training and listening to the challenges they face, but more importantly emphasising the rewards they can identify from working in these areas.
The idea behind this is to change (or at least challenge) strongly held perceptions that working in areas of social depravation is ‘just very difficult’ and to breakdown misconceptions and stereotypes. We will also do podcasts on working with addiction. Future podcasts will include topical issues but the main focus will be on issues that will enhance health in socially deprived areas.