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Newtownhamilton doctor does his part to cure strained system with Tullyvallen Clinic

'It's about trying to offset the need and if I can reduce other GPs phone calls by doing something privately, then it's a win-win for everyone'

Dr Seán McNicholl

Against a backdrop of ever-increasing waiting times, one South Armagh GP has established his own part-time private health clinic in a bid to tackle the health backlog.

Based within the Dundalk Street Surgery in Newtownhamilton, Tullyvallen Clinic is the project of Dr Seán McNicholl, who decided he wanted to do his bit to help ease the burden on an already strained system.

A full-time GP partner in Newtown, Dr McNicholl graduated from University in 2015, before going on to finish his GP training in 2020.

Originally a Collegelands man, the father-of-two found love in Newtownhamilton, where he’s been ever since.

Tullyvallen Clinic acts as another option for out-of-hours GP services and is open on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings from 6pm to 9pm, alongside Saturday mornings from 10am to 2pm.

They offer acute appointments for people who can’t get to see their own GP and for sick children outside regular hours.

They also do prostate cancer screenings, joint injections and regular health checks and exams.

While the clinic isn’t available for current patients at the surgery, it’s open for all others, unbound by the typical GP catchment areas.

Dr McNicholl is keen to stress the affordability and flexibility that the service will offer the local community.

He explained: “The response has been unbelievable. I thought it was going to start slow at first but we’ve really hit the ground running and all the feedback has been positive that this is what’s needed, particularly out-of-hours.

“There’s just not enough GPs and it’s just chronic underfunding for decades. There’s not enough new GPs coming through and a lot retiring.

“In our own practice about 18 months ago, there were 5 GPs and now there are only two of us. That’s across the board as other GP practices are suffering the same thing.”

While Dr McNicholl is operating the clinic, it will have no impact on the care received by his regular patients at Dundalk Street Surgery.

“I haven’t reduced my hours at all. I’m still there four days a week. My current patients will still be very well cared for.

He continued: “The big thing is keeping it affordable. I’m a strong believer that health is for everyone and cost shouldn’t be a barrier. It’s about trying to offset the need and if I can reduce other GPs phone calls by doing something privately, then it’s a win-win for everyone.

“If people have the money and are happy to pay then they’re not having to take up a slot at their own GP.

“I’ve also started doing social media videos about common conditions and advice on when it might be a good idea to see a GP to help get a bit more health education out there. They seem to be doing well and people are enjoying them.”

As the clinic continues to grow, it is hoped that minor surgery, ear syringing and other services will become available in the near future, alongside expanded hours.

“We have a few GPs coming on board and as it grows we’ll hopefully be able to offer more and more services,” he added.

“There’s just not enough hours in the day!”

You can find out more information or book an appointment at Or you can contact the practice today at or on 07766369788. You can also find them on Facebook and Instagram.

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