GP practice closes ‘list’ to new patients

A Ballymena GP practice has announced it is not longer able to take on new patients and plans to close its list for up to a year.

Ballymena Family Practice is applying to the Health and Social Care Board to close the list to new patients.

Practice Manager Jayne Service said the main reason to close the list is to “safely look after and protect the patients” already on the practice’s list.

The move comes due to the practice being unable to fill a position following the retirement of one of their GPs, leaving the practice based in the Ballymena Health and Care Centre on Cushendall Road with just one partner.

Ms Service explained: “Dr Conan Castles joined us in October 2017 as a salaried GP and works five sessions a week.

“This still leaves us short of two sessions per week.”

She added: “We currently have 3,267 patients, and the main reason for applying to close our list is that we wish to safely look after and protect the patients who are already on the practice list.

“We do not have the capacity to continue to take on new patients on a weekly basis.”

In April alone, 25 new patients registered with the practice.

“This did not include new babies born into the practice, so this is currently not sustainable,” Ms Service added.

Anyone wishing to comment on the closure of the practice list should email or write to Jayne Service, Practice Manager, Ballymena Family Practice, Ballymena Health and Care Centre, 86 Cushendall Road, Ballymena, BT43 6HB.