RCGPNI responds to additional £8.8m for general practice in Northern Ireland

Publication date: 11 June 2018

Responding to the additional funding announced for general practice, Dr Grainne Doran, Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners Northern Ireland said:

"The College is pleased to see the Department of Health's commitment to supporting general practice in Northern Ireland. For too long, GP services have been underfunded and both doctors and patients have suffered as a result. Today's announcement of additional resources for premises, practice-based pharmacists, demographic pressures and indemnity costs is very welcome.

"Practice-based pharmacists are now well-embedded into many practices across Northern Ireland. Patients are directly benefiting from this service and pharmacists have been able to help alleviate some of the pressure on GPs. Ongoing investment and support for practice-based pharmacists and community pharmacy will be beneficial in enabling better services for patients within the community.

"Investment in the expansion and modernisation of GP premises is essential to enable the transformation of our health and social care service. The College has been working closely with the Department of Health to design the new model of multidisciplinary team working in primary care and funding was recently announced for piloting this. Premises investment will be vital to ensure that this new way of working can be rolled-out across the entire region in the long-term so that every patient in NI will benefit from being able to access the right healthcare professional, at the right time, within their own community. Today's investment is therefore welcome – but a full assessment of premises requirements must be carried out for the whole region so that no practices will be left behind.

"Indemnity costs for GPs are set to increase in April 2019 so some additional support for these costs is welcome today – however, it is critical that we find a full solution to increased indemnity costs, in line with England and Wales, as a matter of urgency. We must not create financial disincentives for newly qualified GPs and trainees that will encourage them to consider working elsewhere in the UK, instead of training and working in Northern Ireland.

"We look forward to working with the Department and other key stakeholders to make continued progress on health and social care reform in Northern Ireland."


Further Information

Clare Higgins
07341 737 033

Notes to editor

  1. 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 represents over 1300 members in Northern Ireland.
  2. RCGPNI statement following investment announcement for multidisciplinary team pilots: about-us/news/2018/may/rcgpni-responds-to-funding-announced-for-multidisciplinary-teams-in-general-practice.aspx

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