There has been a Doctors dispensary in Ballyward since the 1854. Dr Emmanuel Harman was the very first doctor in post in 1854. Dr James Rowan succeeded him and practiced for 32years.
A two story dispensary house was built, in 1884 in the grounds of McEvoys of Ballyward. The patients climbed the outside stone steps to the dispensary upstairs. Dr Rowan practiced from the dispensary, and stored his horse and buggy on the ground floor. He built himself a house beside the dispensary a few years later, which is the McEvoys present home.
We have an 1895 smallpox vaccination form completed by Dr Rowan who was titled Medical Officer of the Ballyward Dispensary district.
An article about dispensaries across all of Ireland can be found here.
Some of our more senior patients can remember Dr William Redmond who died in 1948. One patient remembers him being taken on horse back in deep snow to do a home delivery. All went well, and Dr Chestnutt met the "baby" many years later.
Many patients will remember Dr Rex Wilson who practiced from the house most people remember as the Dispensary House on the main Ballyward Road for over 40 years. Initially he was assistant to Dr Redmond and then as the main doctor. He completed an MD while in practice in Ballyward. He helped edit the Ulster Medical Society Journal for over 20 years. He and Shelah, his wife contributed much to the Ballyward community through the years.
When Dr Wilson retired in 1988, Dr Alastair Chestnutt practiced for a few months from the Dispensary building before moving to a converted house. In the early 1990's a new purpose built surgery was completed in Station Road, Ballyward. The practice team has developed since 1988 with Practice Nurses, Dispensers, Receptionists and Managers now being part of the team.
Dr Alastair Chestnutt retired in November 2015 and will be greatly missed by patients and staff alike. We all wish him all the best for the future. He is succeeded by Dr Jayne Lutton and Dr Clare Alexander.
Our Doctors and practice staff continue the ethos of compassionate care for all the patients of Ballyward.