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.