Alliance Councillor Sian O’Neill has called on the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust to consider carefully the consultation to close a vital health service in Tullycarnet. Bridges Family Practice have communicated with the local community their intention to remove the branch practice facility from the area in the near future.
Councillor O’Neill, who was speaking during a meeting of Belfast City Council, said: “The closure of this family practice will have a detrimental impact on the people of Tullycarnet, particularly the vulnerable. Closure would leave some in the Tullycarnet area without a local health practitioner within walking distance. It would mean those registered with the practice have the the option of a taxi journey or getting two buses to get to the Bridges practice on the Lower Newtownards Road. For most this is inconvenient at best, for others the cost and disruption would make it absolutely prohibitive.
“Questions must be asked about why this practice was afforded £1 million of public funds to improve the provision of health services in East Belfast whilst choosing to neglect its service to others in just as much need in another area. Tullycarnet is a ward recognised as being in need of renewal and investment and yet vital services that support the community are being withdrawn. It is both counter-intuitive and unhelpful.
“I call on the Health Trust to reconsider the proposal carefully and to assess the potential of both capital and resource investment in health services in the area.”