HSE interviews are to be held this month for a new locum in Kildare town and Monasterevin to take over the 1,700 patients who have been without a local GP since August.
The 850 patients, who are based in Kildare town, were told they had to travel to Monasterevin as a temporary measure after the retirement of a local GP Dr Denis Dwyer last August.
Dr Dwyer's list had a 50:50 ratio of patients living in Kildare town and Monasterevin and Dr Chidley, who is based in Monasterevin agreed to take over the whole list on a locum basis, pending the recruitment process.
He was unable, according to the HSE, to provide a service for the 850 in Kildare town “due to the temporary nature of the post and difficulties finding locum cover over the summer months”.
The HSE explored splitting the list between Dr Chidley and the Medical Practice in Kildare town but due to resources this was not possible.
A HSE statement to the Leader said “Dr Chidley has been providing locum cover since September 1, 2017.
“The changeover undoubtedly generated a large volume of phone calls to Dr Chidley's practice. To assist patients and to enable the changeover Dr Childley has put a number of voice messages on the phone and an email watermillsreception@gmail.
com to assist any queries. Otherwise the patient can speak to the receptionist.”
Meanwhile the HSE added that the lack of GP services in Kildare town may cause hardship or inability to access services for some patients and transfers to a local GP have been assessed on a case by case basis.