Harris secures funding for out of hours GP service for North Wicklow

Wicklow TD and Health Minister Simon Harris has today made a very important announcement regarding improvements to the health services in County Wicklow.

Minister Harris has secured funding for an Out of Hours GP Service for North Wicklow. Such a service already exists in other parts of the county but is badly needed in North Wicklow.

Minister Harris has had the delivery of this service included in the HSE’s 2018 Service Plan.

Speaking about this, Minister Harris said, “Since I became Minister for Health, it has been a priority of mine to ensure that we establish an Out of Hours GP Service for North Wicklow and South Dublin.

“I have been pursuing this for some time and was delighted to have had an opportunity to discuss it with many GPs in the community over the last number of months.

I am very happy to inform you that I have secured funding for the introduction of a structured GP out of hours service for the South Dublin / North Wicklow area in the 2018 National Service Plan.

This service is intended to cover the night time hours from Monday to Friday and 24 hour cover at weekends and Public Holidays, providing urgent General Practitioner services to patients outside of normal surgery hours.  The service will include initial triage and GP consultation at treatment centres or home visits as appropriate, in accordance with HIQA standards for Safer Better Healthcare.

The procurement process to identify a service provider has now commenced, with public advertisement (including eTenders) expected in February 2018 and, subject to successful selection of a suitable service provider, the service is scheduled to be operational by the end of June 2018.

It is expected that approximately 9,000 patients per month will benefit from this structured GP Out of Hours Service. I have no doubt that this will make a very positive difference for the delivery of health services in our locality.

I will keep you up to date as further progress is made and I look forward to this service coming into operation.

I want to thank all the GPs in the community and the many groups in the locality who have been pursuing this for many, many years. I am delighted to have been in a position as your Minister and TD to deliver this for our area.”

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