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‘Cast iron guarantee’ given for patients at Bannview Medical Practice

Bannview Medical Practice patients in Portadown have been assured that current arrangements for their care will continue as normal and anyone with vaccination appointments should continue to attend.

The “cast iron guarantee” came after Upper Bann DUP MP Carla Lockhart and MLA colleagues Jonny Buckley and Diane Dodds met with the Health and Social Care Board on Monday.

The hope remains that a long-term solution to the ailing surgery will be found despite negotiations falling through with another practice in the Health Centre last week.

Speaking following the virtual meeting the DUP elected representatives said: “The long term future of the Bannview practice has been fraught with difficulties for the past number of years.

“It has been a distressing time for patients and staff given the very public comments on it.

“However, at our meeting we received a further guarantee that provision will continue in the first instance on a temporary basis and that the wheels are in motion for appointing a long term service provider.

Read more: Dispersal of 5,000 patients from Portadown’s Bannview Practice ‘not an option’

“This follows on from a breakdown in negotiations for another local practice to act in a ‘caretaker’ role.

“We have been given a cast iron guarantee that current arrangements for patient care will continue as normal and any patients with vaccination appointments should continue to attend.

“The Health and Social Care Board need time to work through the correct process.”

The DUP reps did highlight the fact that patients have concerns particularly with “the difficulties facing the Health Service in a post Covid era”.

They added: “Primary care is an essential part of the overall health provision offering in Northern Ireland and it is essential that people have access and confidence in the long term sustainability of their GP practice.

“We will hold a further update briefing in two weeks on the matter, but we are confident that the Board will make every effort to ensure that Bannview continues to operate for its patients for many years to come.”

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