Working life: Sarah Butler, services manager, SouthWest Community Intervention Team

Sarah Butler

With hospitals operating over capacity, our nurse-led service is designed to support patients in the community thereby reducing unnecessary admissions and facilitating early discharge. 

We’ve a close working relationship with the hospitals and attend Hospital Hub meetings with bed managers, discharge co-ordinators, GP liaison officers and ward managers in Cork city to identify who will be discharged during the week.

After that, I can plan ahead for patients who will be referred to our service.


I return to the office at SouthDoc on the Kinsale Road to deal with issues outstanding from the previous shift. 

The team works shifts so there’s a handover document to go through where nurses flag up issues that need to be dealt with. 

While our intervention is short-term (72 hours), the focus is on continuity of care so we work closely with other community-based healthcare professionals including PHNs and GPs.

12 noon

After an early lunch, I start the process of allocating patient visits for the following day. 

Our nurses carry out a variety of tasks: medication management, monitoring of fractures and falls, catheter care, dressings and acute wound care, and supporting end of life. 

We provide the OPAT service (Outpatient Parenteral Antimicrobial Therapy), administering intravenous antibiotics to patients at home. 

We also provide home support during the intervention period, such as preparing meals and grocery shopping.


Referrals come in throughout the day from GPs, hospitals, PHNs and residential units. We take referrals until 9pm. 

Our hours of service are 8am-12 midnight, seven days a week. We accept all patients aged over 16. 

However, our current patients are predominantly aged over 60, some requiring help transitioning from hospital to home and extra support while continuing their recovery at home.


We are delighted demand for our service has soared recently and capturing data for return to HSE is a vital part of my role. 

I update the master log, recording all referrals to CIT, complete a daily activity report, which has to be returned to the HSE. 

The key thing is to ensure all planned patient visits are allocated to nursing staff and ensure appropriate time allocated for handover between day and evening shifts.


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