West Belfast to benefit from new GP practice-based Multi-Disciplinary Teams

Date published: 03 December 2018

The next phase in the transformation of GP care has been announced, with West Belfast the latest area to benefit from a major new health service initiative.

The West Belfast roll-out of a new Multi-Disciplinary Teams, will see nine physiotherapists, a service manager, and a project manager recruited to support the needs of patients – in addition to the care provided by GPs - at a number of surgeries.

Funding was announced earlier this year for Multi- Disciplinary Team (MDT) investment in both Derry/Londonderry and Down. Given the positive response to recruitment in these areas, the decision has been taken to move ahead in West Belfast as well.

This is part of the transformation funding for primary care announced in May and will allow local people to get the care they need, when they need it, from the right people with the right skills.

Announcing the investment, Department of Health Permanent Secretary, Richard Pengelly said: “This extension of the Multi-Disciplinary Team approach will help radically reform the way services are delivered. It aligns with the vision set out within, ‘Health and Wellbeing 2026: Delivering Together’, which is about putting the person and their needs at the centre of our service delivery.

“It is our hope that this approach will mean that patients can be seen more quickly, helping with earlier intervention and, as a result, reduce the need for referrals and pressure on our hospital services.”

Dr George O’Neill from the West Belfast GP Federation said: “This is a very welcome development. The MDT model is transformation in action. It’s about changing the way we do things - to the benefit of service users and all those who work in primary care.

“Amid all the serious pressures on health and social care, it’s always important to remember that there are many positives as well. The MDT initiative is a good news story.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. The commencement of the initial roll out of MDTs, in the Down and Derry/Londonderry GP Federations, was announced on 03 September 2018.
  2. A seven member panel established by the Department selected the Derry/Londonderry and Down GP Federation areas as the first two areas for the roll-out of the MDT model.  The panel also identified that the next phase of the planned province wide roll-out would begin with the West Belfast GP Federation.  The panel included a patient representative.
  3. This development represents the latest phase in the roll-out of Multi- Disciplinary Team working in GP. The prototypes will be evaluated to inform further investment decisions.
  4. For media queries please contact the Department of Health Press Office team on 028 9052 0575 or email pressoffice@health-ni.gov.uk. For out of hours please contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110 and your call will be returned.
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