College: Another symptom of a system in crisis

Dr Ursula Mason, Chair of the Royal College of GPs in Northern Ireland, has responded to the news that the contract for Brookeborough and Tempo GP practice has been handed back, leaving the practice with 8000 patients at the risk of closure.

Dr Mason, a GP in Carryduff, commented today:

“We have been warning that general practice in Northern Ireland faces a real risk of destabilisation, on a scale not previously known. Regrettably, we are seeing this manifest itself in practices making the difficult decision to hand back their contracts. While happening across Northern Ireland on an alarming scale, it is particularly troublesome in the South West with this being the second large Fermanagh practice at risk of closure. This causes real anxiety for patients, who are rightly concerned about the potential loss of this vital and highly valued community asset but it is also concerning for neighbouring practices, should list dispersal take place.”

“Alarm bells are now ringing off the scale. GPs know we are in the midst of a crisis but we need this to be urgently recognised across the system so that real solutions that safeguard the future of general practice can be implemented immediately.”

Further information

Cliona McCarney, RCGP NI Policy and Public Affairs Manager
0203 188 7726 / 07341 737033

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 54,000 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.