GP out-of-hours service may be based in town

Banbridge Health & Care Centre �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1605-206EB
Banbridge Health & Care Centre �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1605-206EB

Banbridge could be set for an out-of-hours GP service based at the new health centre.

DUP Councillor and Upper Bann Assembly Candidate Carla Lockhart has said she will be lobbying hard for a new out of hours service in the Banbridge area.

This comes following a strong lobby and concerns over long waiting times particularly at the weekend.

Speaking on the issue Cllr Carla Lockhart said: “With a superb new Health Care facility located in Banbridge it would be ideal for an out of hours service to be located in the centre.

“I understand the difficulties around staffing out of hours service and the strains placed upon it however, I believe that such a service in the Banbridge area would assist in reducing the strain on Craigavon Area Hospital Out of Hours Service and would service a large population within the Banbridge area.

“I have started the initial contact with Minister Simon Hamilton’s office and will be endeavouring to take this forward in the new mandate with the new Minister of Health.

“Banbridge has been bereft of this service and I believe it would be advantageous to the people’s health and well being in the area if such a service was made available from the new health centre.

“It will, I have no doubt, take some time to work through the possibilities and criteria for such a service but I look forward to the challenge and taking this initiative forward.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety said: “While there are no current plans to provide GP out of hours services from a base in Banbridge, the Health and Social Care Board will continue to consider the range and location of services required that will best meet the needs of people living in the Southern area, including those in and around Banbridge.”