The Department of Health has today confirmed that arrangements are currently progressing for one of the two GP practices in Balllymena that have been facing potential closure.
Based in the Ballymena Health and Care Centre on the Cushendall Road, the Department was notified in recent months that both Ballymena Family Practice and Dr Dick's practice both intended to hand-in their contracts to provide surgeries at the facility.
Combined both practices represent a total of 7,137 patients from the wider Ballymena area and the news brought concerns over further impact and pressures to local health services in the town.
The current contractor at Ballymena Family Practice handed back their contract on 30th September 2022 and was due to resign the post on 31st December 2022.
A Department of Health spokesperson speaking today to Love Ballymena confirmed:
"Following a late proposal, the Department is working with a potential new contractor to take over the contract for Ballymena Family Practice and is finalising arrangements for the contract take over.
"It is hoped this process will complete by 31st January 2023.
"The existing contract holder has agreed to maintain the contract for the month of January until this process is completed."
The spokesperson added:
"A second practice in Ballymena has notified the Department of its intention to hand back its contract and this is scheduled to take place on 31st May 2023.
"There are approximately 3,840 patients registered with this practice.
"This contract will be advertised imminently and applications sought from interested parties."
Both practices are continuing to offer services as normal.