10 Aug 2022

New ‘multi-disciplinary’ GP service to create 200 jobs in Derry

Patricia Logue(2)
Derry has been announced as one of two areas in the north to benefit from multi-disciplinary teams at its GP practices which will create two hundred new jobs in the city. It has been described as a ‘new era’ in GP care placing the city will be at the forefront of the ‘major transformative initiative’, according to the Department of Health. Health and Social Care Trusts are working with GP Federations to start the recruitment processes for 200 new posts in Derry, with the new services expected to become available in the coming months. Multi-Disciplinary Teams (MTDs) involve the establishment of practice-based physiotherapists, mental health specialists and social workers at GP practices - working alongside doctors and nurses to better meet the needs of the local population. The Department of Health said the model includes significant investment in additional nursing specialist roles such as health visiting and district nursing. It aims to provide care closer to people’s homes and improve access times and will also see practice teams supported to identify opportunities for early intervention. Patients will be supported in managing long-term conditions and dealing with lifestyle issues which can impact on their health. The Derry GP Federation area covers in the region of 200,000 patients and includes Derry, Claudy, Limavady and Strabane. The Department of Health announced the MDT initiative in May as part of a £15m transformation fund allocation to primary care. The Department’s Permanent Secretary Richard Pengelly today said: “This is a very important step forward in the transformation journey. “I look forward to MDTs being extended to other GP federations in the years ahead. “By bringing in new professional roles to work alongside and support GPs and nurses, we can really improve care in communities and neighbourhoods. “This will help us move to a system focussed on physical, mental and social wellbeing rather than just managing ill-health - with a greater focus placed on prevention and early intervention.”   Communities   Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson Patricia Logue has welcomed the first stage of the £15m programme. “This is a very important part of the transformation agenda identified within the Bengoa report and which was begun by the then Health Minister Michelle O’Neill,” she said. “This is the direction of travel which healthcare must go in and the introduction of this scheme is tangible evidence of the transformation agenda now beginning to be rolled out within the health and social care service.” Meanwhile, Foyle DUP MLA Gary Middleton has welcomed the allocation of £15million secured from the confidence and supply agreement to introduce multi-disciplinary teams to GP surgeries. “Today the Department for Health has announced a £15million rollout of money secured by the DUP for Health Transformation,” he said. “GP surgeries in Londonderry and County Down will be the first to benefit from the introduction of multi-disciplinary teams.”

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