Ratio of GPs to population falls by a tenth since 2009

Ratio of GPs to population falls by a tenth since 2009

July 13 2018 There were 62.0 GPs per 100,000 population in 2017, a decrease of 11.2% from the...

Dementia risk advice introduced into NHS Health Check

Dementia risk advice introduced into NHS Health Check

June 19 2018 Health professionals providing the NHS Health Check service will be expected to give...

Wales announces £100m to shake up NHS and social care services

Wales announces £100m to shake up NHS and social care services

June 14 2018 Wales is to undergo a significant overhaul of NHS and social care services, the...

Welsh pharmacies to supply flu vaccine for care home workers

Welsh pharmacies to supply flu vaccine for care home workers

June 11 2018 Care home workers in Wales will be eligible for free flu vaccination in the 2018-19...

Flu vaccination by GPs sees increase for 2017-18 season

Flu vaccination by GPs sees increase for 2017-18 season

May 30 2018 Flu vaccine uptake among people aged 65 years or over increased to 72.6% for the...

  • Ratio of GPs to population falls by a tenth since 2009

    Ratio of GPs to population falls by a tenth since 2009

    Friday, 13 July 2018 13:02
  • Dementia risk advice introduced into NHS Health Check

    Dementia risk advice introduced into NHS Health Check

    Tuesday, 19 June 2018 10:15
  • Wales announces £100m to shake up NHS and social care services

    Wales announces £100m to shake up NHS and social care services

    Thursday, 14 June 2018 14:24
  • Welsh pharmacies to supply flu vaccine for care home workers

    Welsh pharmacies to supply flu vaccine for care home workers

    Monday, 11 June 2018 14:07
  • Flu vaccination by GPs sees increase for 2017-18 season

    Flu vaccination by GPs sees increase for 2017-18 season

    Wednesday, 30 May 2018 11:07

primary careOctober 14 2015

A working group has been announced which will look at short term and long term measures to help sustain primary care services in Northern Ireland. The full terms of reference for the working group have yet to be published, but the announcement has been welcomed by doctors.

The group will include representation from general practice, nursing, allied health professionals, and health and social care trusts. It will be led by the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety.

Announcing the working group, Northern Ireland’s Health Minister Simon Hamilton said: “We face challenges across our health and social care system, given rising demand for services. Our primary care services are at the frontline in facing this challenge, with GP surgeries now dealing with 5.5 million more consultations a year than in 2004.

“It’s clear that if we are to deal with the challenge of rising demand, we must find more innovative and radical approaches to delivering services. The status quo is not sustainable. I have therefore asked my Department to work with health and care professionals to assess the way primary care services are delivered and consider how we ensure we have a service which is fit for the future.”

The RCGP said that demand on GPs is increasing with an estimated 12.7 million patient consultations last year. Dr John O’Kelly, Chair of the RCGP in Northern Ireland was “delighted that Health Minister Simon Hamilton has recognised the pressures facing general practice. We now need him to take action and come up with firm solutions to address these as a matter of urgency.

Last month, the RCGP in Northern Ireland had launched its first ever action plan, ‘Delivering change for general practice: A strategy for improving patient care in Northern Ireland’. In it, the RCGP “offered solutions to the growing crisis facing general practice and the wider health service. We asked the government to work with us to invest in general practice so that together, we can deliver the compassionate care which patients need and deserve,” said Dr O’Kelly.

“[This] announcement is a welcome first step. It is essential that the government takes bold and urgent action to address the investment and workforce crisis facing general practice. Despite delivering 90% of patient contacts in Northern Ireland, general practice only receives 8.3% of the Health and Social Care budget. A long-term investment plan is needed.”

Dr Tom Black, chair of the BMA Northern Ireland GP Committee (NIGPC) also welcomed the announcement. “We have been highlighting for many years the pressures faced by general practice including ever increasing workloads from both patient demand and from work being shifted into the community from Trusts, the chronic under-funding of Out of Hours services as well as the need to address the recruitment and retention of GPs,” he said.

“We are pleased the Minister has taken our concerns on board and hopefully this group will help address these workload and workforce issues, as well as looking at how best GP federations in Northern Ireland can be used to address the crisis in primary care. We would also hope to see the pharmacists in practice scheme implemented as quickly as possible.

Dr Black pointed out that Northern Ireland has the lowest GP coverage and the oldest GP workforce in the UK, with 24% of family doctors being aged 55 or over. “It is essential that the Government takes action to address this workforce crisis as a priority and recruit 400 more GPs by 2020,” he said. “Only by strengthening general practice can we deliver the kind of care that our patients need and deserve and build a stronger healthcare service for our future.”

Links:

Northern Ireland Executive announcement

RCGP response

BMA response

Contract News

July 27 2018 Adolescent boys will be offered the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine to protect them from cancer, the Department of Health and Social Care has announced.
July 20 2018 Doctors are being reminded to ensure that any patient or other records which may be relevant to the UK Infected Blood Inquiry are not destroyed. Earlier this month, the Inquiry’s Chair, Sir...