Petition to retain NowDoc service

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Hundreds of people across Inishowen have signed a petition asking for the retention of NowDoc services in Carndonagh.

The two-week ‘live test’ of NowDoc’s red-eye service in Carndonagh and Derrybeg ended at 8am this morning, and the review process which will analyse call activity and response time data will continue until the end of August.

The two-week live test was part of the review process.

Following the cessation of the review process, a Caredoc GP clinical lead for the NoWDOC area, will then make a formal recommendation to the HSE and Caredoc regarding any proposed changes by the end of August.

A spokesperson for the HSE told the Journal yesterday that “should such a proposal emerge, the HSE will then consider its overall position based on this recommendation.”

200 petitions calling for the retention of the current NowDoc service in Inishowen has been distributed in businesses across the peninsula.

Carndonagh-based councillor Albert Doherty said there has been a strong response to the petition so far which, coupled with the large attendance at a recent public meeting in the town, represents how Inishowen people will not accept any proposed downgrade of the service.

He said: “All the businesses, shops and service stations in which we have placed the petitions have been very positive and welcoming and wanted to take part in this petition to retain services in Inishowen.

“We are hoping everyone who can, will sign this petition. I have been speaking to my colleagues in Gweedore and we are hoping to collect these petitions by the end of next week and then present them to the HSE before their review period completes.”

Colr Doherty said the people of Inishowen and Derrybeg are seeking an equal health service to everyone else in the county, adding the NowDoc red eye service is an “essential” which has saved lives.

He said a meeting with GPs and local representatives is due to take place this week.

“Noone is criticising GPs, who are caring, hard working and diligent and we hope some agreement will be reached,” he said.

Colr Doherty said he hoped the HSE would take into consideration the public’s strength of feeling on the issue during the review process.