Waringstown surgery will not re-open

The Health Minister has been challenged to deliver a state-of-the-art GP surgery for Donaghcloney and Waringstown following a meeting last week about the long-term vision for healthcare provision in both villages.

The ‘MAIL’ understands that at the meeting, held in Donaghcloney PS by Dr Lennon, Dr Hunter and the Southern HSC Board, any move to re-open Waringstown surgery was ruled out.

Ulster Unionist MLA Jo-Anne Dobson challenged the Health Minister Edwin Poots to bring forward immediate funds to build a new surgery for the people of Donaghcloney and Waringstown.

Commenting after the meeting Mrs Dobson said: “It has been 13 months since the ‘temporary closure’ of Waringstown surgery, and it is clear that things cannot remain as they are. A brand new state-of-the-art surgery is needed, and needed urgently to ensure that the people of this area receive the best possible GP service.

“The ideal solution would be the reopening of the Waringstown surgery to take pressure off the Donaghcloney surgery, however it is now clear that this has been ruled out by the Board and Donaghcloney GPs.

She added: “I have specifically raised the impact of the ‘temporary closure’ of the Waringstown branch, and urged that a special case be made for Donaghcloney and Waringstown to receive this funding as a matter of urgency and not to have a long and drawn out process.

DUP Councillor Carla Lockhart who attended the meeting along with Councillor Mark Baxter said: “We were there to listen to the views of the people.

“I took the opportunity to outline our party position on this matter and explained going forward we were prepared to help support Dr Lennon and Dr Hunter in trying to obtain funding towards enhancing and quite possibly building a new surgery within Donaghcloney. Both doctors and their staff are held in the highest esteem and it was pleasing to see the respect that locals had for the doctors and likewise the doctors for the peoples views.

“What we must rally to do at this time is support the doctors we have, and look towards enhancing the facilities to possibly allow for a third doctor.”