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New provider found for GP practice in Portadown

Bannview Medical Practice in Portadown has been saved from threat of closure. Picture by Anthony Devlin, Press Association

A GP practice in Co Armagh is set to remain open after a new provider agreed to take it over.

Health minister Michelle O'Neill yesterday announced that a new GP contract provider has been secured for Bannview Medical Practice in Portadown.

There had been fears that more than 5,000 patients would have no access to a family doctor if the practice was forced to close.

Bannview had been at risk of closure after its last remaining doctor resigned.

Ms O'Neill said yesterday the new provider will be in place from early March.

"Until then, the HSCB (Health and Social Care Board) will continue to ensure that patients of the Bannview Practice have access to GP services," she said.

She said more work was being done to address a GP shortage, including increasing training places and putting more pharmacists in general practice.

"Building multi-disciplinary teams, embedded around general practice, will be key to enabling us to keep people well and proactively support them to manage their long term conditions," she said.

"That is why we are developing new roles such as Advanced Nurse Practitioners and Physician Associates."

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