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THE ‘MAIL’ has learned the doctor’s surgery in Waringstown is under threat.

It’s understood because of health and safety concerns over the surgery, the Health and Social Care Board are considering closing down the premises.

Concerns had been raised that the surgery was closed on several occasions.A notice had been placed on the door of the surgery as well as the pharmacy in the village advising patients the surgery was closed due to staff shortages and services would be provided temporarily through the main Donaghcloney surgery.

Regardless of the temporary closures, the ‘MAIL’ understands discussions have taken place within the Southern Office of the Health and Social Care Board in respect of a potential application for closure of the branch surgery on the grounds that it may not be fit for the purpose of provision of general medical services to appropriate quality and clinical standards.

Issues include Health and Safety, Fire Safety and Disability Discrimination Act access legislation.

A spokesperson for the Health and Social Care Board said: “The Donaghcloney Surgery has advised the Board of its concerns about the potential failure of its branch surgery premises in Waringstown to meet statutory requirements in respect of Health and Safety legislation, Fire Safety legislation and Disability Discrimination Act legislation.

“The Board is currently considering the concerns raised by the Practice and has requested an assessment of the premises by Health Estates, Department of Health and Social Services and Public Safety.

“The Board is not in a position to make any further comment until this assessment has been completed, but would wish to assure patients registered with the Practice, that the GPs and their practice staff remain committed to providing modern, accessible and quality services to all its patients.”

In an earlier version of this story we incorrectly referred to the Healh and Social Care Board as the Southern Health and Social Care Trust - which is a completely different body. We are happy to clarify the situation.