RESIDENTS in Strangford are deeply concerned about the future of services currently being delivered from the Strangford Community Services Clinic.
Residents have drawn the issue to the attention of the Down Community Health Commitee who have agreed to call their next public meeting in the village in January 2014.
A spokesperson for the South Eastern HSC Trust said: “Strangford Clinic is a small South Eastern HSC Trust facility which is only used for two hours per week to facilitate an outreach GP service by the Dr Moore and Dr Small Practice based in the Downe Hospital.
“The Trust has never been commissioned or funded to provide a Treatment Room service for this clinic, but historically the District Nursing team has tried to support it. The clinical space is small and not an appropriate environment to provide Treatment Room service.
“The District Nursing team has been finding it increasingly difficult to support the service due to the increased workload and their priority to visit housebound patients with complex needs. Due to staffing pressures, the Treatment Room support was temporarily reduced to fortnightly and patients advised that the Treatment Room service would be provided at the main Treatment Room in the Downe. At this stage the GP Practice had also considered reducing their weekly clinic to fortnightly.
“The Trust is considering the viability of continuing to provide the service, but in the interim will attempt to keep it running using bank staff.”
Eamonn McGrady, Chairman of the Down Community Health Committee, said: “The South Eastern HSC Trust need to clarify the matters of concern there are in Strangford around the Community Services at Strangford Clinic.
“A number of local politicians have expressed their anxiety after constituents have approached them. There needs to be a reasonable response from the Trust addressing these concerns. At the public meeting, local residents will have the opportunity to voice these thoughts and feelings on this important health issue.”
The Down Community Health Committee will be holding a public meeting in Strangford to discuss health issues early in the New Year and details of the time and place will be released in the media early in January.]]>