The long-awaited takeover of a Portadown GP is confirmed as Southern GP Federation to take charge of operations next month.
Bannview Medical Practice has been managed by the Southern Health and Social Care Trust since its last GP resigned in 2017, citing pressures of work overload.
In a letter to patients dated August 10, it was confirmed that the Federation would be takeover the practice from September 1.
This will be the first time in Northern Ireland that GMS services will be provided by the GP Federations.
A spokesperson from the Health and Social Care Board stated: “GP Federations in Northern Ireland have been developed since 2014, and are now 17 in number.
“Every practice in NI is a member, and they are set up as not-for-profit Community Interest Companies, enabling practices to work together at scale for the benefit of General Practice and delivery of primary care services to their local communities.”
The FSU’s are currently making arrangements to ensure patients continue to have access to essential GP-led services from 1st September 2021.
The Southern Health and Social Care Trust will continue to provide General Medical Services at Bannview Medical Practice until 31st August 2021.
Delighted with announcement, Dr Margaret O’Brien, HSCB Head of GMS, said; “I would like to thank the patients at Bannview Medical Practice for their patience and ongoing support for the practice and its staff as the Board worked to secure a new contractor for the practice.
“Patients can be reassured they will continue to receive the highest standard of GMS services now and into the future.”
SDLP Upper Bann MLA Dolores Kelly had previously said the 5,000 patients registered at the surgery, which is based at Portadown Health Centre, deserve continuity of care.
Speaking following the news, she stated: “I am delighted to be informed of long-awaited news that another GP practice is taking over from Bannview Medical Practise in Portadown from 1st of September 2021.
“Hopefully this will restore confidence in its patients and will give that continuity of service from September that they deserve.
“This has been a long running saga and it is an example of how fragile the delivery of GP services is across the north. Hopefully lessons will be learnt by the Health and Social Care Board in both their workforce planning and the communication with service users and representatives.”
She added: “I am grateful that a resolution has been found and I want to thank the fortitude of its patients, many who have been in contact over recent months about the lack of service and deserve an awful lot better than what has been provided for the past four to five years.
“I want to wish the new practice and the local Southern GP Federation every success in their delivery of primary care services in Portadown and the wider area.”