The Department of Health has announced today, Friday 10th November, that a new contractor has been confirmed for Cullybackey Health Centre.
The Department said Dr Johnny Burns has been appointed as the new contractor providing GP services to the patients of Cullybackey Health Centre with effect from 1st December 2023.
A letter will be sent to all 7295 patients of Cullybackey Health Centre in the coming days.
It follows extensive work to identify a new GP contractor to take over the practice, following the termination of the contract by the previous contractor in May 2023.
The appointment will come as welcome news for patients of the practice who shared fears that the practice may have closed.
Ulster Unionist MLA Robin Swann has welcomed the appointment of a new contractor for Cullybackey Health Centre.
Robin Swann said:
“Since the announcement earlier this year that the current management of Cullybackey Health Centre were handing back their contract, patients and staff have understandably been very concerned about what would happen beyond next months impending deadline.
“I’m delighted therefore that Dr Johnny Burns has been appointed as the new contract holder. I engaged with Dr Burns in relation to his role and contribution to the Ballymoney Family Practice and now I’ve every confidence that he will be a very capable and successful leader of the Cullybackey Practice.
“The Cullybackey practice is a hugely important and significant component of the local health service and the prospect of it closing and its 7,000 plus patients being dispersed out across other already pressurised GP practices was unfathomable.
“When it was first revealed that the Cullybackey practice was at risk I sought assurances from the Department of Health that it would move at pace to begin a process to secure alternative arrangements.
"Thankfully they also realised that it was in everyone’s best interests for the practice to be retained and so I’d also like to commend everyone involved for seeing this uncertain period through to such a positive conclusion.
“The appointment of Dr Burns is great news for the practice, it’s patients and the wider area.”