Sugden urges Health Minister to visit GP practices

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MLA Claire Sugden says that a multi-agency approach is needed to relieve pressure on GPs.

She was speaking as the Department of Health pledged £1.2 million towards relieving the current pressure on GPs.

“My constituency has a large proportion of older people,” told the MLA.

“Our health system faces huge pressures of an ageing population at a time when many GPs are approaching retirement.

“There are few to replace them and among those I have spoken with there are feelings of an impending crisis.

“I have supported efforts to have the number of GP training places increased.

“We have fewer places than across the UK and have fallen behind England and Scotland who recently increased their number. I am pleased that the Minister has listened and will implement this small change.

“I have lobbied the Department on behalf of General Practitioners, most recently asking about the value of placing pharmacists in GP surgeries to facilitate medicines management and prescribing.

“A multi-agency approach is needed to relieve pressure on the system. GPs are key to creating a world class health service here but they must be part of a wider long-term solution. I encourage the Minister to visit practises and to listen to the concerns on the ground.”