Federations are key to progress, says chair of NI general practitioners
A family doctor from Co Down is the new voice for GPs in Northern Ireland at a time when they are facing major pressure.
The Royal College of General Practitioners NI (RCGPNI) yesterday welcomed Dr Laurence Dorman as its new chair.
Dr Dorman is a GP partner in Mourne Family Surgery, Kilkeel and has been deputy chair of RCGPNI for the last three years.
He has a particular interest in palliative care and communication between doctors.
Dr Dorman said: "I am thrilled to take up the position as chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners in Northern Ireland. I joined Mourne Family Surgery, Kilkeel as a partner in 2007 and after 12 years I am so proud of the high quality of care we provide. I love general practice. It is busy and stimulating.
"At present it is facing significant challenges but I feel with the right support and strategic direction, it offers a fantastic career to the brightest and most committed doctors who wish to make a real difference to their patients' lives.
"As my tenure begins today I would like to pay tribute to the work of outgoing chair Dr Grainne Doran who did a sterling job of leading the organisation in a period of great flux and political change.
"Her vision, encouragement and leadership is much admired by all of us and we thank you."
Dr Dorman said he is keen to focus on interface working, an area that focuses on building stronger relationships between hospital-based staff, GPs and allied health professionals. As a GP with former roles in GP appraisal and Newry Hospice, Dr Dorman is also keen to focus on palliative care, cancer care and the early diagnosis of significant disease.
He is also a strong supporter of the GP federations and the plans to implement multi-disciplinary teams (MDTs) in practices.
In 2017 he became chair of Newry and District Federation of Family Practices and was heavily involved in the establishment of this federation.
"The past decade in general practice has seen a significant rise in workload. At the same time GPs remain the main point of contact for patients who are experiencing multi-morbidity, and complex health needs," he said.
"GPs need supported in many ways to ensure we are fit for purpose and can meet the changing needs of our patients. The GP federations are key to our progress. There are significant benefits to working at scale while still retaining the personal continuity of care that our patient's value so much."