GPs want links to health visitors

Attempts to detach health visitors and district nurses from practices will put patients at risk, GP leaders have warned.

Dr Black: trusts are 'hell-bent on cutting costs'
Dr Black: trusts are 'hell-bent on cutting costs'

Dr Tom Black, Northern Ireland GPC deputy chairman, said health visitors and practice nurses were being withdrawn from practices by trusts 'that are hell-bent on cutting costs'.

Dr Martin McCloskey, a member of Western LMC, warned removing health visitors from practices would put patients at risk as they would no longer be able to run immunisation clinics.

'We want to make sure this doesn't happen,' he said. 'The system is not broke and we should leave it alone. We want to maintain health visitors attached to practices.'

Northern Ireland GPC chairman Dr Brian Dunn also said having health visitors and district nurses at practice level helped in child protection issues.

He said: 'If they are attached to practices, GPs can informally or formally express concerns to health visitor teams and they can do likewise.'

A motion calling for all GP practices to have a named district nurse, health visitor and midwife attached to practices was carried by the conference.

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