A spokesperson for the Health and Social Care Board said:
“The Health and Social Care Board advises with regret, on Monday, 16 January 2017, the new GP contractor recently secured for Bannview Medical Practice in Portadown has unfortunately withdrawn their intention to take over the Practice from early March 2017.
“The Board is now continuing to manage the practice in the interim period until a new contractor is appointed. We will continue to work diligently over the coming days to secure another permanent contractor to take over the practice and are exploring other options including the Southern Health and Social Care Trust taking on the contract for Bannview.
“Bannview Medical Practice is providing a normal service to all patients registered with the practice and patients are advised to contact the practice in the normal way. The service is no longer running in an emergency only capacity and no decision has been made to close the practice.
“Patients can be assured that safe and high quality clinical GP medical services continue to be provided at the practice by experienced GPs, several of whom are providing regular sessions for continuity of care. Patients are able to request appointments, order acute and repeat prescriptions in the normal way as well as have access to the Practice nurse, physiotherapist, midwife, health visitor, counsellor and experienced GPs, several of whom are providing regular sessions for continuity of care.
“The Board will be writing to all patients this week to advise them of the current arrangements and asks the patients to continue to support the Practice at this time.
“The Board would also like to pay tribute and commend the efforts of the staff within the Practice in providing safe services to their patients during this period of time whilst a new contractor is secured.”
“With regards to the wider challenges facing general practice the Health and Social Care Board has invested significantly in helping to ease GP workload pressures and secure primary care services across the region. The Board has supported the recruitment by GP Federations of over 100 Practice Based Pharmacists who will also soon be in place in general practice, as well as the training of Advanced Nurse Practitioners and in rolling out the ‘Ask My GP’ scheme – the online and phone triage system to a further 30 GP practices. In addition the Minister for Health has recently announced increasing the number of GP training places from 65 to 111 by 2018/19.”