Working Life: Karina Healy, GP liaison hospital relationship executive, Bon Secours, Cork

Karina Healy, GP

5.45am: I’m an early riser and weather permitting, I like to squeeze in a run. 

I aim to exercise four times a week. With three small boys — Shane (eight), Riain (five) and Lar (three) — there’s a lot to do to get out on time for school and work. Either my husband Déaglán or the childminder does the school run.


My job is a new position in the Bon Secours and my role is to foster and strengthen relationships between GPs and the hospital so that the referral process is seamless for both patient and referring doctor. One of the key components of my role is to liaise with GP practices through regular visits. My experience in pharma sales and project management, together with my qualifications in nursing and midwifery, means I am well placed to understand patients’ needs.


I meet with a cardiologist who specialises in atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat) and we discuss cardiac rehab, a subject of great interest to GPs. It’s essential that I’m fully au fait with the different departments and clinical specialties so that I can share the information with GPs. It’s my job to identify any barriers to referral and to work with the relevant departments to overcome them.


I meet with the Medical Assessment Team to introduce my role and familiarise myself with the services they offer. Our Medical Assessment Unit is a modern, purpose-built facility where a GP can refer for rapid access to a consultant-provided service and for a wide range of complaints.


I have a working lunch and use my time to introduce internal stakeholders to my role and examine how we can work together to promote the hospital.


I’ve a planning meeting with a colleague in the clinical services department to discuss activities that promote GP engagement. We host GP study meetings on the second Tuesday of every month.


I tidy up loose ends and make sure plans are in place for the following day. I have to structure my time carefully because a lot of people come to me with feedback; for example, I have a meeting tomorrow with a primary care practice to discuss patient pathways to the hospital.



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