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Public meeting called over fears of possible cut in Carnlough GP surgery hours

Carnlough Community Association is hosting a public meeting to discuss concerns over a possible reduction in GP surgery hours at the Glens of Antrim Medical Practice.

The organisers says it is envisaged that an action plan will be formulated at the event.

The meeting will be held at Glenlough Community Centre, Croft Road, on Wednesday, May 25, at 7.30pm.

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Hundreds of people have already signed a petition calling for the retention of full-time GP services in the Antrim coast village.

The meeting will be held in Glenlough Community Centre. Image by Google

It follows indication from the practice - which has its main surgery 10 miles away in Cushendall - that it would have to cut its opening hours to two half days a week from next month in Carnlough.

The practice said it can no longer cover the costs of a full-time service in Carnlough due to a reduction in funding from the Department of Health.

The Department, however, said “there has been no cut in funding” but the practice “did receive an additional support payment which came into effect on February 10, 2017 when the practice agreed to accept 1,381 patients”, following the closure of a clinic in Glenarm.

A Department spokesperson added: “This temporary funding was to support the practice for a period of three years to enable them to manage the registration and complete an initial clinical review of these additional patients.”
However, Dr John McSparran, who works at the Carnlough surgery, disagreed with the Department’s assertion that the funding was temporary, adding that the practice “would not have agreed to this”.

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Carnlough GP surgery: Hundreds sign petition calling for retention of full-time ...