Health chair McLaughlin hands in 16,000 petition Putting Patients First

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA and chair of the Assemblys Health  committee Maeve McLaughlin as she handed in Putting Patients First – public petition signed by 16,000 people across the North IMG_9330

Speaking from the Assembly she said

I am pleased to have the opportunity to present this “ Putting Patients First “ petition to the floor of the Assembly today.  “ Putting Patients First” is not only an important principled approach to how we deliver health care  but it also gives voice to thousands of people across the north in their support for their General Practices.

Over 16,000 people across the North signed this petition.

In order to shift left from acute to community/ primary care and early intervention it is important that we acknowledge the increasing pressures on GPs and support this infrastructure  to deliver the very services we envisage under Transforming Your Care(TYC).

GPs will be a necessary part of the shift from hospitals to care in community.  The petition calls for General Practice to receive 11% of the healthcare budget.  The shift would enable General Practice to deliver shorter waiting times for appointment , and more flexible opening hours, longer appointments and more flexible opening opening hours, longer consultations better continuity of care and positive benefits for health services as a whole , reducing pressures in hospitals.

In real terms funding for General Practice in the North has fallen by £21.20m from 2008/9 and 2012/13 a percentage decrease of 8.2%

GPs saw a 7% increase in activity in past year alone.

GPs out of hours has expressed an 18% increase over last 5 years.

To deliver care to an ageing population TYC needs to deliver more GPs ,practice nurses, district nurses, health visitors backed up by pharmacy colleagues and members of the allied health professionals in the community.

GPs are encouraged by recent investment in premises and encourage more investment in the Hub and Spoke model.  I am particularly pleased that cityside In Derry has been identified as a priority project.

However GPs do not feel engaged with TYC process – they feel that work has sifted but the resources have not followed