The Department of Health today announced a further investment of £8.8million in GP services in Northern Ireland, bringing this year’s total investment in GP’s and related services to nearly £22million, the largest funding allocation for General Practice in NI since 2004.
The £8.8million announced today includes £4.54million for the Practice Based Pharmacist scheme, which is freeing up GP time and together with community pharmacy is helping ensure the safe and effective use of medicines for better patient care. By the end of the year, there will be close to 200 pharmacists working across practices in Northern Ireland.
In addition, £1.8million will be used to address demographic pressures on GP Practices, such as rising populations and more people with long term conditions who need care. A further £1million has been allocated to address the rising costs of medical indemnity cover.
The Department has also identified £1.5million to improve and expand practice premises. This funding will be focussed on supporting practices to create the space for multi-disciplinary teams and to ensure they have the space to train the increased numbers of GPs trainees.
This £8.8million is in addition to the £15million targeted towards enhancing primary care from the £100million Transformation Fund announced on 9 May 2018, which will help GPs find new ways of working and support the implementation of multi-disciplinary teams.
This builds on £9.7million of investment made in GP services in 2017/18, which was itself the largest investment in recent years.