SouthDoc reopening in Blackpool ‘good for community’

SouthDoc reopening in Blackpool ‘good for community’

The GP out-of-hours service in Cork and Kerry officially reopened its services in Blackpool this week. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

The reopening of SouthDoc’s facility in Blackpool has been described as “good for the community”.

The GP out-of-hours service in Cork and Kerry officially reopened its services in Blackpool this week.

The service had temporarily closed a number of its clinics in Cork, including in Blackpool, in 2020 in a bid to implement a “consolidated model” in the face of Covid-19.

Concerns had been raised about the impact of the closure on the community, and Sinn Féin TD Thomas Gould said the reopening was thanks to the valiant efforts of the community who stood up and fought against the closure of the service.

“We rallied together as a community, and we fought this closure. We sent out a clear message that the northside won’t allow our services to be closed and we won’t be neglected any longer,” he said.

“What we have achieved cannot be overlooked.”

Mr Gould stated that the closure has been difficult to many in the area and said he hoped the reopening “will bring some relief to parents, carers and those worried about needing medical services out of hours”.

Mr Gould added that he had written to the HSE to seek assurances that the full service would return for the northside.

GP and Fianna Fáil councillor John Sheehan also welcomed the reopening, which he said was “good for the community”. However, he stated that planning was needed to improve services in the long term.

“It’s good that it has opened again, and I would welcome that, but we need to start looking at how we can improve some of those services long term for people, whether its community intervention teams, SouthDoc, urgent care centre, public health nursing out of hours, all of those sort of services, and how we’re going to manage them going into the future.”

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