Minister for Health and Wicklow native; Simon Harris TD has today announced that NorthDoc has been selected as the successful tenderer to deliver the GP Out of Hours service for North Wicklow and South Dublin. The HSE has selected NorthDoc Medical Services Ltd as the preferred Tenderer for the provision of GP Out of Hours Services in the North Wicklow Area. This contract will provide a fully-manageds ervice whereby NorthDoc Medical Services Ltd will provide the Call Handling Services, Nurse Triage Services, GPs, Clinical Nurses, to cover the catchment area of Bray, Greystones and Newtownmountkennedy as well as other areas in South County Dublin.
Speaking as he made the announcement, Minister Simon Harris TD said:
“I am really delighted to confirm the good news that a preferred provider has been selected for the delivery for the North Wicklow Out of Hours GP service. Since I became Minister for Health I have worked closely with our local GPs to develop an Out of Hours GP Service for the area. We have an incredibly dedicated GP community in Bray, Greystones and the surrounding towns and they have been looking for a way to provide an efficient and effective out of hours service for the area. I have worked closely with our GPs and the HSE to ensure ring-fenced funding was included in the HSE 2018 Service plan as a priority service.
I am pleased to now announce that following an extensive procurement process, the North Doc Medical Services Ltd has been selected as the preferred provider for the operation of this service and planning is underway to roll out the operation of services.
I have spoken to GPs in the community to thank them for their dedication to Wicklow residents . They expect to have the service up and running in early 2019. The service will operate out of St Columcille’s Hospital in Loughlinstown but will cover the entire Bray, Greystones, Newtownmountkennedy area. The service will cover all aspects of out of hours care including Call Handling Services, Nurse Triage Services, GPs, and Clinical Nurses.
Minister Harris continued:
“The new service will operate from 2019 and will provide 24 hour GP cover on weekends and public holidays and it will operate throughout the night on week days. I am really delighted that Wicklow will now have one of the best out of hours services in the country. I will keep constituents updated as the service starts to operate.”
Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow John Brady has cautiously welcomed the news that the long awaited GP Out-of-Hours service for North Wicklow is finally to be put in place in early 2019. Teachta Brady who led a campaign for this service said that if the service is finally rolled out it will be only due to the public pressure and campaign demanding that the Minister for Health put the badly needed service in place.
Responding to the news that the badly needed service will be rolled out in 2019 Teachta Brady said:
“I cautiously welcome the news that the long awaited GP Out-of-Hours service will finally be rolled out in 2019. The service is badly needed and long overdue. North Wicklow is one of the last areas in the State not to have such a service. It is due to operate from St. Columcille’s Hospital, however when the new Primary Care Centre opens in Bray, the plan is to operate it from there.”
“In 2016 Minister Simon Harris announced that a GP Out-of-Hours Service for North Wicklow was to come into operation in February 2017, the funding however was subsequently withdrawn by the Minister with no explanation given by Minister Harris.”
“Sinn Féin led a big campaign to get the funding reinstated and for the service to be rolled out. I’ve no doubt that this pressure has forced the Minister for Health Simon Harris to do a U-turn on this issue and finally put the funding in place and reengage with the GP’s to get the service rolled out.”
Greystones Sinn Féin Councillor Nicola Lawless said “As part of our campaign we held a number of public meetings and organised a petition, which was signed by hundreds of local people demanding the service to be put in place. This was subsequently handed into the Minister in the Dáil. I’m glad that our campaigning has been successful and that the decision to pull the funding has been reversed. The Minister this time now needs to ensure that it will actually be delivered.”
Teachta Brady concluded “I cautiously welcome Minister Harris’s latest announcement on the roll out of the GP Out-of-Hours. People should be able to access GP care out of normal working hours if and when they need to. This is an essential health care service and it is badly needed in North Wicklow, so I hope this time round it will finally be delivered, even though its 2 years after it was supposed to.”