RCGPNI responds to NI budget statement

Publication date: 09 March 2018

RCGPNI welcomes the increase in the health budget for 2018/19. The College urges decision makers to ensure a long-term and strategic approach is taken to spending in order to deliver essential transformation of health and social care services.

Responding to the budget, RCGPNI Chair, Dr Grainne Doran said: "The College welcomes the increase in funding for health and social care. The whole health and social care system is under incredible strain and it is essential that the additional investment is spent strategically to help deliver transformation.

"We also welcome investment in mental health services. Waiting lists for treatment are currently unacceptable and we would welcome action to help remedy this - but it is important that any short-term investment is part of a long-term strategy.

"We cannot transform our health service without addressing the significant challenges in primary care – and recommendations to support GP services have been outlined in the GP-led Care Working Group Report. It is well recognised that a thriving general practice sector is a vital component to deliver health care transformation.

"Proposals have been made for implementing new models of multidisciplinary team working in the community – and to deliver this successfully, we must also invest in GP premises and facilities, quality improvement and training in primary care.

"As part of a long-term approach to reform, I would urge the Department of Health to support the essence of Delivering Together and the Systems: Not Structures reports by wisely investing in workforce and services to ensure lasting improvement in outcomes for patients."

Further Information

Clare Higgins
07341 737 033

Notes to editor

  1. The Royal College of General Practitioners was actively involved in the development of the GP-led Care Working Group Report. The report can be accessed at: health-ni.gov.uk/publications/review-gp-led-primary-care-services-northern-ireland-recommendations-working-group
  2. The Royal College of General Practitioners is the largest membership organisation in the United Kingdom solely for GPs. It aims to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and to act as the 'voice' of GPs on issues concerned with education; training; research; and clinical standards. Founded in 1952, the RCGP has just over 50,000 members who are committed to improving patient care, developing their own skills and promoting general practice as a discipline. RCGP NI represent over 1300 members in Northern Ireland.

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