A Northern Irish LMC is calling for an immediate summit with ministers to address the current collapse of practices in NI, while another has proposed a limit on patients moving away from practices that are ‘in trouble’.
A motion proposed by Western LMC (WLMC), which is to be debated at the Annual Conference of Northern Ireland LMCs on Saturday, calls on the Department of Health (DoH) to convene ‘an immediate summit’ involving politicians and civil servants ‘at the highest levels’ to talk about the current ‘collapse’ of NI practices.
Additionally, Northern LMC (NLMC) has urged NIGPC to seek a limit of ‘patient migration’ from practices that are ‘perceived to be in trouble to enable stability’.
The conference will also debate whether the current contract is fit for purpose and alternative models for the delivery of primary care in the future.
There is also a motion calling for ‘absolute transparency’ in the wording of APMS contracts. When surgeries close, commissioners have tended to award APMS contracts, which are usually of greater value than GMS.
The motion calls for an ‘equivalence between the funding of a GMS contract before handback and the running of a practice by a Trust under APMS afterwards’.
It comes as increased demand and loss of doctors resulted in 22 practices in NI being at risk of closure.
Last year, RCGP chair in Northern Ireland, Dr Laurence Dorman, said that GP practices were regularly losing staff members due to the pressures and abuse faced by the sector.
Selected motions in full
WLMC: That conference calls for an immediate summit to be convened by the Department of Health (DoH) and involving politicians and civil servants at the highest levels to address the current collapse of practices in Northern Ireland.
NLMC: That conference instructs NIGPC to seek from the Strategic Planning and Performance Group (SPPG) a limit on patient migration from practices perceived to be in trouble to enable stability of these practices and a reduction of potential harm to surrounding practices.
ELMC: That conference directs NIGPC to seek absolute transparency in seeking the wording of Alternative Provider Medical Services (APMS) contracts and the detail around management and staffing spend when Trusts are awarded such contracts. This is sought to ensure that there is equivalence between the funding of a GMS contract before handback and the running of a practice by a Trust under APMS afterwards.
ELMC: (i) Has no confidence that the current GMS contract in Northern Ireland is fit for purpose, and (ii) Calls upon the DoH to begin negotiations with NIGPC on a more sustainable contract.
SLMC: That conference instructs NIGPC to explore the development of alternative models for the delivery of future primary care and to share these with the wider GP community
A version of this story was first published on our sister title Pulse.