The Department of Health today announced investment of £26.76 million in Northern Ireland’s GP services for 2019/20.
The Department’s Permanent Secretary, Richard Pengelly, said: “This further investment builds on the £37.7 million 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.”
The 2019/20 funding includes up to £18.17 million for the continuation and acceleration of transformation projects commenced in 2018/19, including up to £11.1 million to support the ongoing roll-out of multi-disciplinary teams, £3.5 million for a range of elective care services delivered through General Practice and investment of £1.1 million in Advanced Nurse Practitioners.
Multi-disciplinary team working involves advanced nurse practitioners, physios, social workers and mental health support staff working alongside GPs to deliver the right care in the right place and at the right time.
A further £2.19 million will be available to support the roll-out of the next stage of the Practice Based Pharmacist scheme, bringing the total recurrent investment to nearly £13.19 million and over two thirds of the 300 pharmacists planned for General Practice now in post.
Up to £3.9 million 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 in General Practice.
In addition, up to £2.5 million will be used to address demography and other pressures in General Practice.
Responding to the announcement, Dr Alan Stout, Chair of the General Practitioners Committee in Northern Ireland said: “This 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.
“This increased investment will mean that more GP practices will be able to begin the process of transforming the way they deliver services.”