New contractor to take over Maple Healthcare

NEWS a contractor has been found to take over the running of Maple Healthcare in Lisnaskea has been cautiously welcomed locally, with hopes high it could mark the beginning of new era for the huge practice.

However, it has been noted that many questions remain to be answered regarding what the new management will mean for local patients.

Back in November the doctors who are currently running the Lisnaskea health practice handed back their contract, citing extreme pressures.


They said they wanted to instead focus on delivering clinical care for their patients, rather than the running of the practice.

This prompted much concern locally as to the future of the practice, and the Department of Health announced it had launched a search to find a new contractor.

Permanent secretary at the Department, Peter May, has now announced it has found a potential new provider and that contract is currently out for offer to them.

This week, in a letter, due to be delivered to the Council’s policy and resources committee tonight (Wednesday), Mr May said the SPPG (strategic planning and performance group) had advertised the contract widely, and held interview on January 31st.

He said the SPPG had now offered the contract to a new contractor and was awaiting confirmation of acceptance. The new contract will be operational from June 1st.

This has been cautiously welcomed locally.

Cllr Sheamus Greene said “more detail” was need, but the news had the potential to be “a very positive outcome.”


“I’m delighted, if this turns out to be as positive as it looks,” he said, adding he hoped the new contractors could help deliver a better local service.

“Hopefully in the future they an iron out the problems there have been with Maple. There have been a lot of concerns and problems over the last few years.

“I don’t think it’s just isolated to Maple Healthcare, it’s a general problem. I hope whoever takes it over comes in with new, fresh ideas on how to sort that problem out.”

Cllr Greene added he hoped the planned new £18.5 million Lisnaskea health centre – which promises to be a state-of-the-art facility – would also help ease the local problems.

Cllr Eamon Keenan, who also cautiously welcomed the news, noted these problems included serious issues with local patients getting through to the practice, and getting appointments. He said locals were “fed up.”

Cllr Keenan said the main issues had begun when the practice absorbed thousands of extra patients following the closure of Roslea surgery.

Noting the letter from Peter May did not outline whether the new contract would be a General Medical Services (GMS) contract, or an

Alternative Provider for Medical Services (APMS). While the former is doctor-led, the latter can be taken up by any business or organisation, who would then appoint doctors.

Clllr Keenan said while the news was positive there were “still a lot of questions” as to what the new arrangements will mean for patients.

“I’d say it’s good news they have someone to take the contract, but there’s still some uncertainty and the community would like clarity,” he said.

He added there were also concerns for the future of GP services in Newtownbutler.

“It’s operating a couple of days a week, they are sending doctors down there,” he said.

“We asked would it remain open and they said that would be up to the new contractors. So that’s a worry as well, will the new contractor keep that on?”

To read more.. Subscribe to current edition

Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere


The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 28 Belmore Street, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, BT74 6AA