Call for out-of-hour GP facility in Banbridge

MLA Carla Lockhart.
MLA Carla Lockhart.

DUP Upper Bann Assembly candidate Carla Lockhart has called for the provision of an out-of-hours doctors facility in Banbridge.

Ms Lockart was speaking after visiting the existing facility at Craigavon Hospital which has come under increasing workload pressures.

The former MLA also met with staff from the Out of Hours hub, having been contacted by both staff and patients in recent months with concerns about the strain on resources at the facility.

Whilst an MLA she wrote to the Health Minister expressing not only this concern but also asking that more resources be made available either by spreading the workload with a facility in Banbridge or further staffing this current location.

Speaking after the visit Carla Lockhart said, “I am very thankful to the staff for their efforts under trying and difficult circumstances.

“We should never underestimate how difficult their job is.

“Behind the scenes there is a team who work tirelessly from those handling calls, those who clean and maintain and pharmacists prescribing drugs.

“I have been lobbying the Health Minister on their behalf and believe that we need more investment in these typeof facilities.

“We need more trained doctors who can work free of the restraints and pressures they currently experience.

“The public need to be mindful not to take their frustrations out on the staff.

“It is never excusable to abuse physically or verbally a member of staff.

“The service is there for people who require the speciality of a GP.

“It is not to assist with more trivial matters which wastes resource and time.

“I stand with our health professionals and will continue to be a voice for them at the Assembly.”

Carla Lockhart spent two hours in the GP Out of Hours hub at Craigavon.