IN WHAT is a ground-breaking development in the local health service, the Western Trust has agreed to take over the running of a local GP practice.
On Tuesday evening the Department of Health confirmed the Trust would be taking on the contract for the Trillick and Dromore GP practice.
While the arrangement is temporary until a new GP can be found to cover the practice, the Trust does not have responsibility for general practice it is a first for the local area and the second time it has happened in the North.
The Trust will oversee administrative support for the practice, which has been in crisis after its GP announced his resignation earlier this year, as well as the running of its pharmacy and social work services.
“Patients of the practice can be assured that its services will continue as normal under the new arrangement,” said a Department spokesman.
“They will receive letters on the situation over the coming days. Patients needing GP services should continue to contact the practice as normal.”
Local MLA Tom Elliott said he was glad a solution had been found that will see the practice retained beyond the end of June.
“Having regularly spoken to the Minister over recent weeks about Dromore/Trillick I know there have been intensive discussions ongoing to explore all possible avenues to maintain the Practice,” he said.
“Those deliberations included a range of stakeholders, not least with local GPs and the Western Health Trust.”
Mr Elliott added, “Whilst the Trust taking on the contract may be a fairly uncommon outcome, it’s one that crucially avoids the worrying option of the existing 5,400 patients being dispersed out across neighbouring practices.
“I hope the Trust, as well as the Department of Health and staff working right across primary care, will be able to use this period now to find a more permanent solution to protect the long term provision of services in the practice.
“In the meantime this is very good news for the patients of Dromore/Trillick and the wider area.”
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