College in Northern Ireland launches 'A prescription for general practice' ahead of Assembly election

Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners in Northern Ireland, Dr Laurence Dorman has launched "A prescription for general practice". Ahead of the Northern Ireland Assembly election. The manifesto calls urges political leaders prioritise investing in general practice.

Dr Laurence Dorman, a Kilkeel GP, commented today:

"General practice is at the heart of communities across Northern Ireland and our services are hugely valued. However, following decades of underinvestment, we find ourselves in a very difficult place and regrettably, are struggling to meet the needs of our patients.

"Primary care is the bedrock of health and social care in Northern Ireland and provides up to 95% of healthcare people will need in their lives.

"However, despite successive expert reviews highlighting the need for further investment, the funding to deliver real change in general practice has never followed.

"As we approach the Northern Ireland Assembly election on the 5th of May, we are asking politicians, to invest in general practice, to make sure there are enough GPs to provide timely care and access for patients and that they have surgeries fit for that purpose.

"As we emerge from the pandemic, patient demand for GP services has never been greater, and we need their support now more than ever.

"We have a unique opportunity to redress years of underfunding and support our GPs and their practice teams to deliver care in the community, meet the needs of our patients and tackle worsening health inequalities.

"We are asking political parties to prioritise the expansion of the GP workforce. Roll out the Multidisciplinary team model to GP Practices across Northern Ireland; tackle the unsustainable workload levels; commit the resources needed to teach future doctors and invest in GP practice infrastructure. If these are not delivered, general practice will struggle to meet the needs of patients in our community and efforts to transform the wider health service will be futile.

"We look forward to engaging with political parties and candidates across Northern Ireland over the next few weeks to hear their plans to renew general practice. So hardworking GPs and dedicated practice teams can continue to sit at the heart of local communities."

Further information

Cliona McCarney, RCGP NI Policy and Public Affairs Manager | RCGP Northern Ireland
Tel: 0203 188 7726 | Mob: 07341 737033

RCGPNI Assembly Election Manifesto May 2022: A Prescription for General Practice (1,220 KB PDF)
RCGPNI: A prescription to treat the crisis in general practice (569 KB PDF)

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 52,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.