The relocation of the out of hours GP service from Moneymore to the Mid Ulster Hospital is not expected to take place until the autumn.
According to the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) “work is ongoing” in the hospital’s outpatients department to facilitate the GP out of hours service provided by Dalriada Urgent Care.
Over a year ago HSCB members announced the permanent relocation of service from Moneymore to the hospital. The relocation is considered necessary because the Moneymore premises are no longer fit for purpose as major works need to be carried out.
An HSCB spokesperson said: “It is expected that the out of hours service will relocate to Mid Ulster Hospital in the autumn of 2019. We will let residents, GPs, Pharmacists and the wider community know when dates for this relocation is confirmed.”
During a public consultation, which ran from August until December 2017, the HSCB, DUC and the NHSCT engaged with a range of local people including service users, GPs, elected representatives, voluntary and professional organisations.
A total of 47 responses were received, the large majority of which expressed general agreement that the proposed permanent relocation should move ahead.
Currently, patients who are required to attend an appointment at an out of hours centre before midnight attend the Moneymore premises.
After midnight patients are seen in the Mid Ulster Hospital.
The relocation to the hospital is expected to bring a number of advantages including:
The Mid Ulster Hospital site is accessible, well lit and offers ample parking for patients out of hours.
There would not be an issue with ‘lone working’ as is currently the case on the Moneymore site when the GP is not on site and other staff are on their own.
Another service moving into the Mid Ulster Hospital site will help demonstrate the commitment to that site as a hub for local services; and it would be in keeping with the Mid Ulster Community Plan commitment to co-locate health and well-being services in each of the three main towns.