Commenting on the announcement that the South Eastern Trust will take over Priory-Springhill surgery, Dr Alan Stout, BMA NI GP committee chair said, “This is yet another example of the perilous state that general practice in Northern Ireland is in. This practice was in trouble many months ago. An enthusiastic new contractor did express an interest in taking on the practice but realised it would be impossible to get enough GPs to work there with them to meet the workload. The current funding structures where the amount GPs get per patient has not increased sufficiently also contributed to their decision to decline taking the practice over.
“We need to urgently resolve our workforce crisis and ensure that General Practice has a sustainable future; we need to address the indemnity issue, stabilise the workload and move away from the narrative that GPs are working ‘part time’ or are closed to patients when GPs across Northern Ireland are doing the very best they can to meet demand.
“The Trust taking on a contract like this is an emergency measure and cannot be seen as the future of general practice. We will work closely with them to try to ensure an alternative solution.”
Notes to editors
The BMA is a professional association and trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.