In line with government guidance to help reduce the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), we have introduced significant changes to our clinics. This is to protect the safety of both patients and staff, and to enable us to continue to support as many of our patients as we can.
All non-urgent clinics have been suspended by the NHS, and some of our staff are being redeployed to help tackle COVID-19, including frontline duties. We are really proud of our staff for the responsibilities they are taking on, however this means we can only offer emergency face-to-face appointments. You can still get in touch with us and we will support you to the best of our ability.
Do not come to clinic under any circumstance if you, or anyone in your household, are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. This includes a new continuous cough and/or a high temperature.
All routine face-to-face appointments have been suspended until further notice. We are rolling out virtual clinics, which means you may be able to speak to your clinician via telephone or video link. Wherever possible we will continue to support you, providing advice on dealing with your situation, or sending devices and equipment to you by post.
Please contact your local Ability Matters Ireland centre to find out what options are available to you. Please be aware that some of our services have reduced capacity: we are working closely with our NHS partners to provide support in any we can, which includes in some instances redeploying our staff to frontline COVID-19 services. Some of our staff are also self-isolating, however we are striving to provide as much service as we can. Below is a summary of the service currently provided, however do please check with your local centre for individual requests.
|Requirement||Repairs||Assessments||New Parts||Brand New Devices||Wheelchair Repairs||Home Visits|
|Is this service available?||Yes – using postal and drop-off options where possible, and for limited face to face emergencies||Yes – we are carrying out telephone and video assessments wherever possible. In certain emergency situations, we can see symptom-free patients face to face.||Partially – in certain situations e.g. repeat items, we can provide you with new parts such as insoles, liners, or straps based on a telephone or video assessment.||Restricted – naturally, providing brand new devices which need to be fitted and made to bespoke measures and shapes is very limited at present. We will prioritise the most at risk individuals and maintain safety in relation to COVID-19.||Yes – we are trying to provide continued wheelchair repair services wherever safe to do so.||Restricted – we have seen opportunities to attend someone at home in extenuating circumstances. These opportunities are very limited at present due to reduced staffing in relation to COVID-19.|
We apologise for any inconvenience these changes may cause you. Thank you for your understanding and patience during this unprecedented time.
Please ring your local service to find out the steps you need to take, as it is different for our different locations. We will ask about your requirements and how we can help you. Depending on your needs, you will follow the appropriate pathway for your treatment, which may involve either a phone call or video call with your clinician.
It would really help us if you can share your email address with us. At this time of social distancing, communication is more difficult but technology is proving to be a vital factor in maintaining communication channels. By sharing your email, we have the potential to set up video assessments so that we can ‘see’ you without you needing to attend the clinic. This will help us in planning care for you.
Ability Matters Ireland is continuing to offer face-to-face appointments for emergency cases only. Please contact your local service immediately, and they will be able to advise you on the next steps. If you do need to attend clinic in person, appropriate social distancing and PPE measures will be taken, and only one person may attend with you.
Wherever possible, where it is safe and appropriate to do so, we will carry out a repair to your device if it is broken. We are operating repair services within the restrictions of government guidance but have been successful in carrying out urgent repairs.
Please follow these links for further advice on the coronavirus situation:
Please note that the Ability Matters Ireland service provision outlined above is subject to change in line with government and NHS guidance. If in doubt please contact your local Ability Matters Ireland service for the most up-to-date information.