North Antrim DUP MP Ian Paisley has welcomed the news from the Department of Health that Kells &
Connor Medical Practice has been saved from imminent closure.
The announcement came this afternoon, Thursday 13 April, with the Department saying it was "delighted" to confirm that a new GP contractor has agreed to take over the local practice, named as Dalriada Urgent Care.
Last week the Department had previously stated that the surgery was set to close at the end of April as no contractor was available.
In today's statement a Department of Health spokesperson said, "The Department very much regrets the uncertainty experienced in the local community.
"A letter advising patients on the new GP contractor will be issued. Patients should continue to contact their GP practice as usual."
Responding to the news, Mr Paisley said:
"The announcement today that Kells GP services have been saved from closure is fantastic for the 4000 patients.
"I want to place on record my thanks to the GP who has signed the contract to deliver the service and the other supportive GPS in the area. Without a combined effort from them the news would have been bad.
"I wish to thank personally Councillor William McCaughey who coordinated this campaign and who ensured that every aspect of saving the service was exhausted. This is good work and good news. While others had given up and said nothing William pursued this and achieved a great result for the local community."
Mr Paisley added:
"Could I personally thank all the local GPs who made it clear that Ballymena could not be saturated, and that health and safety message went a long way in saving Kells."