THE announcement that Waringstown Surgery services are to move to Donaghcloney has been met with incredulity at the Banbridge office of Jo-Anne Dobson, Ulster Unionist MLA.
Commenting on the decision to temporarily close the facility, Mrs Dobson said she found it “incredible that a facility, whose sole purpose is to uphold the health of the people of Waringstown is being closed down following Health and Safety concerns”.
She said she would now be writing again to the Minister for Health, Edwin Poots and added, “I also find the statement from the Board which says the surgery “poses a risk to both patients and practice staff” worrying, as the very temporary closure of this facility itself poses risks to local people who rely on the care and services provided by this branch surgery,” she added. “The GP Surgery is as much an intergral part of village life in Waringstown as the churches, Post Office, primary school and shops.”
Mrs Dobson said she had met with Margaret O’Brien, head of general practice for Northern Ireland, and John McGrath, business support manager, at the end of June regarding the matter and was “disappointed” she had only received the news on “the eve” of the temporary closure period.
The surgery closed on Friday, with services transferred to the Main Street practice in Donaghcloney.
A spokesperson for the Health and Social Care Board said they regretted any inconvenience but stressed it was a “necessary measure” in the best interests of patients.
However, any patient who remains concerned in any way about an appointment should telephone the practice staff on 028 3888 1225.