Northern Ireland news

Extra staff allocated to rural Co Tyrone GP practice taken over by Western Trust

Dromore and Trillick Practice has struggled to find a replacement for an outgoing doctor

SOCIAL workers and a physiotherapist have been allocated to a rural Co Tyrone GP practice after it was taken over by the Western Trust.

Dromore and Trillick Practice has more than 5,500 patients registered but was taken over after it struggled to find a replacement for an outgoing doctor.

Dr Declan Morgan has resigned and was working his notice until Thursday.

Fears that the large rural area could be left without GP cover were discussed at a meeting of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council last month, when the intervention from the Department of Health was requested.

The Irish News revealed earlier this week that GPs are being offered a rate of £1,000 per day if they can provide cover for two daily sessions on dates from yesterday to August 31.

That is more than double the standard rate of £440 per day.

Sinn Féin MP Órfhlaith Begley welcomed the allocation of extra staff members to the under-pressure practice.

"After several representations to (Health) Minister (Robin) Swann I am delighted to confirm that three permanent multidisciplinary team members have now been allocated to the practice, this will include a social worker, assistant social worker and a physiotherapist," she said.

"These additional staff members will help make the practice more sustainable going forward and is to be welcomed.

"The contingency provision in place now gives breathing space to secure an alternative contractor to take over GP services in the Dromore and Trillick area.

"I will continue to work with the department and health minister to ensure a long term solution to the sustain the continuity of GP services for the area."

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