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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Surgery closure ‘will lead to patients catching two buses to see GP’

Patients have warned that they will have to catch two buses to see a GP if a surgery closure in Belfast goes ahead.

Campaigners are fighting to keep the Tullycarnet GP surgery in East Belfast open, after receiving a letter from health bosses revealing plans to shut the facility.

Green Party counsellor Ross Brown has launched a petition in a bid to save the surgery, saying that if the practice closes, vulnerable patients will have to travel further to access healthcare.

The Tullycarnet facility, a branch of the Bridges Family Practice, is in a deprived area and has already been cut down to two days a week.

He told Belfast Live: ‘There was £1 million investment in the Bryson Street surgery, the Bridges Family Practice, and as soon as it was finished people were then told the Tullycarnet service is to go. 

‘But that’s a two bus journey for people so there’s understandably a lot of anger that people who are in need are just being left out on a limb.’ 

Practices across Northern Ireland are facing closure due to GP shortages despite a £7 million increase in GP contractual funding.

Pulse has been campaigning to raise awareness of the effects of practice closures as part of the Stop Practice Closures campaign. 

Readers' comments (5)

  • never was there such overwhelming interlocking national evidence of GP stresses..due to massive underfunding and total neglect and endless ideological interference by the profoundly incompetent and deluded CEO and SOS
    really it is time for them to be both sacked or resign and for competent management of the NHS instead..

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  • This comment has been moderated.

  • Brave new 'at scale' world.
    How many also avoid using the supermarket they also have to commute to?

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  • The tiny savings made will be offset by the huge patients will have to pay in time and money to travel further.

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  • Some of our patients need to get 2 buses to visit us, though admittedly by choice, preferring not to attend more convenient practices. I wish they all had to get 2 buses - might reduce inappropriate attendance!

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  • The 50% funding cut to GPS in NI has been deliberate from 11% to 5.5% of NHS expenses in 11 years from 2004 to 2015, in spite of dealing with 90% of all NHS face to face consults.
    There are completely altruistic GPs who accept these insults without demur, unfortunately.
    Really, the only option is to leave such an absurd system. But the BMA do not believe in such matters.
    Such savage cuts require a total collapse of GP services.

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