Belfast Telegraph

£27m funding for Northern Ireland GP services is welcomed

Welcome: Dr Alan Stout
Welcome: Dr Alan Stout
Ralph Hewitt

By Ralph Hewitt

Family doctors have welcomed the announcement of almost £27m for GP services in Northern Ireland.

The £26.76 funding, which was announced today, includes up to £18.17m for the continuation of transformation projects commenced in 2018/19.

This includes up to £11.1m to support the ongoing roll-out of multi-disciplinary teams, £3.5m for a range of elective care services delivered through General Practice and an investment of £1.1m in Advanced Nurse Practitioners.

A further £2.19m will be available to support the roll-out of the next stage of the Practice Based Pharmacist scheme - where pharmacists work alongside GPs - bringing the total recurrent investment to nearly £13.19m and over two thirds of the 300 pharmacists planned for General Practice now in post.

Up to £3.9m will be available for investment in GP premises, with a focus on supporting the delivery of multi-disciplinary team working and the expansion of training General Practice. In addition, up to £2.5m will be used to address demography and other pressures in General Practice.

Dr Alan Stout, chairman of the British Medical Association's General Practitioners Committee in Northern Ireland, said the funding announcement "is good news for GPs, for primary care and for patients across Northern Ireland".

"The transformation money that has already been invested is beginning to make a difference for GPs, helping to ease their workload and allowing frontline services to patients to be met by a broader range of health professionals who are best suited to addressing a patient's needs," he said.

"This increased investment will mean that more GP practices will be able to begin the process of transforming the way they deliver services."

The Department of Health's Permanent Secretary, Richard Pengelly, said: "This further investment builds on the £37.7m of additional funding invested in GP and related services over the last two years. These significant investments reflect the crucial role General Practice has in delivering health and social care to meet the needs of patients now and into the future."

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