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Serious concerns over viability of Bannview Medical Practice in Portadown with no doctor on site

Serious concerns have been raised over the future of an under pressure GP practice in Portadown.

The Bannview Medical Practice in Portadown Health Centre is closed with reports suggesting it has “no plans to reopen”.

It’s the latest in a long line of issues with the practice which had been operating without a permanent GP in place for months.

The latest news will affect a few thousand patients in the Portadown area.

SDLP MLA Dolores Kelly says her office has been receiving calls from constituents who are having difficulties contacting and arranging appointments at Bannview.

“I have asked an urgent priority Assembly question to the Health Minister on how he is addressing the shortage of doctors and nurses,” said Ms Kelly.

“Having no doctor or nurse on-site this week due to mid-term leave is totally unacceptable. We would be keen to hear what difficulties you have been having!”

Ulster Unionist MLA Doug Beattie said: “There are serious concerns, yet again, about the viability of Bannview Medical Practice in Portadown that have been rumbling on for a number of years.

“It now seems, that in the middle of a pandemic the practices has ceased operating leaving thousands of patients not knowing how to access prescriptions or receive their vaccination.

“As it presently stands, if you ring the Bannview Practise and automated message directs you to the Southern Trusts Phone First service. From there it is unsure if routine cases will be dealt with or just urgent care and confusing as to how vaccinations for Covid will be administered.

“I will be meeting with the Health Minister – Robin Swann MLA – today to see how the needs of my constituents can be met. In the middle of a pandemic immediate action must be taken to help all patients affected.

Sinn Fein MLA John O’Dowd commented: “Serious concerns in Portadown today as Bannview GP practice remains closed with reports it has closed it doors with no plans to reopen.”

Upper Bann MP, Carla Lockhart, commented: “I’ve been contacted by those registered with the practice who are deeply concerned that it appears to have ceased operating, leaving patients in limbo and feeling very vulnerable.

“The long term problems at Bannview are well documented and it is regrettable that a sustainable model does not appear to have been found that provides the certainty of care that those registered with the practice deserve and require.

“Serious questions need to be asked of the Health Department now as to how we have got to this point, and how patients needs will be met.  I have contacted the Trust and the Minister to try and ensure a solution is found.”

Update: Portadown’s Bannview Practice ‘remains open’ as patients urged to still attend vaccine appointments

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