Northern Ireland GPs seek role in commissioning

GP leaders have urged Northern Ireland's new health minister to make radical changes to its healthcare system and consider handing GPs a role in commissioning.

Dr Brian Dunn: 'The NHS in Northern Ireland is broken, we need radical changes in the health services'
Dr Brian Dunn: 'The NHS in Northern Ireland is broken, we need radical changes in the health services'

Northern Ireland GPC chairman Dr Brian Dunn said the NHS in Northern Ireland was 'broken'.

'We need radical changes in the health service,' he said. 'Difficult decisions need to be made.'

Dr Dunn said he was 'more hopeful than expectant' that the new minister would expand the role of GPs, by involving them in commissioning and allowing them control of budgets.

'We have been pushing for commissioning for the last two to three years,' he said.

Dr Dunn said health minister Edwin Poots, appointed last month, had hinted he may back GP commissioning.

In an address to the annual chief nursing officer conference in Craigavon on 1 June, Mr Poots said: 'I see a crucial role for more powerful local commissioning in driving change.

'I will facilitate greater decision-making powers being devolved to local level, maximising the involvement not only of local health professionals, but of local communities in general.'

Dr Dunn said that GPs would push the new health committee for more control over the budget for Northern Ireland's integrated clinical assessment and treatment programme and community nursing budgets.

Hospital services may need to be cut, Dr Dunn warned, adding that 'GPs will support difficult decisions'.

Dr Dunn has written to the health minister expressing the GPC's desire to work with him.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus