Interviews for GPs at medical practice taken over by trust

Part of the crowd which attended a rally at Portadown Health Centre in January to protest at the handling of the GP crisis at Bannview Medical Practice.
Part of the crowd which attended a rally at Portadown Health Centre in January to protest at the handling of the GP crisis at Bannview Medical Practice.

Interviews are being held this week for GP positions at Bannview Medical Practice in Portadown - less than a year after the practice had to be taken over by the health trust due to a shortage of doctors.

The practice, which hit the headlines and brought the province-wide GP shortage into sharp focus, is still under the responsibility of the Southern Health and Social Care Trust.

This week the trust said the practice, based in Portadown Health Centre, is currently staffed by locum GPs but that interviews for GPs were being held this week.

A spokesperson said interviews were being held for two positions - a clinical lead and a GP.

He added, “If appointed, they will still be employed by the trust, which is managing the contract at the moment.”

In January, the GP contract at Bannview became the first in Northern Ireland to be taken over by a trust.

At the time the announcement was made by the Health and Social Care Board, saying the take-over would remain in place until a permanent solution was found.

The practice, which has 5,200 patients, reached crisis point when its final GP resigned and doctors in the other six practices within Portadown Health Centre applied to close their lists to new patients.

Bannview patient Tony Hendron, who organised a protest back in January, said the new system was operating well.

“There are usually three or four doctors, it’s easy enough to get an appointment and I have already had my flu jab.”

He added, “They should make all the practices public instead of private - and there should be a floating doctor for whenever GPs are off on holiday or sick.”