The main symptoms to be aware of are:
* new continuous cough
* fever/high temperature
* loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste

If a young person or a child in your care develops any of the above symptoms, they should self-isolate and you should book a Covid test as soon as possible.

Covid tests can be requested via the online booking system ( link below)

We have taken steps to reduce risk of Coronavirus by reverting to telephone triage as of Mon 2nd March. This is to protect the most vulnerable of our patients as well as the staff.  When you ring us, our staff will ask you some questions to determine your condition.   Some of these questions may include if you have a temperature or a cough. These questions will help us to determine the best action to take but also helps protect our staff and other vulnerable patients.

Please DO NOT ATTEND THE SURGERY without a prior appointment.

When you do attend for either a GP or nurse appointment, we are also asking that once you have advised of your arrival you then return to your car and you will be called in.   We have closed our waiting room, again in an effort to control the virus.

We would also advise that for the present time we are no longer completing private reports, HGV medicals, life insurance forms etc., and would suggest that you may wish to attend a private clinic for these.

Reminder - we have online ordering for your repeat medicines which is our preferred way for you to order - please ask at reception for your first time unique log in so you can bypass the phone system.

When the Surgery is closed, please contact the GP Out of hours for the Southern Trust area which is 028 3839 9201. For our patients living in the South Eastern Trust Area your number is 028 9260 2204

Reminder to all patients: Please allow 48hrs (that's two full working days ) for repeat prescriptions to be issued.

We want to empower our patients to enable them to care for themselves and their loved ones for minor ailments. The Self Care forum website is designed for patients to access information on managing their symptoms themselves and advising when to seek medical help.

WEBSITE: or scroll down for some more information on specific ailments


Here are links to some common ailments:

1 Sore throat how to treat your sore throat

2 Cough in adults how to manage your cough

3 Sinus infections how to manage a sinus infection yourself

4 Earache how to manage earache symptoms

5 Fever in children how to assess a child with a temperature

History of the Practice

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.

Dr ROwans DIsensary 2An article about dispensaries across all of Ireland can be found by clicking 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. 

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