Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson Patricia Logue has welcomed the first stage of a £15m programme to transform GP care services here.
She was commenting after the initiative got underway in Derry and Down where multi-disciplinary teams involving physiotherapists, mental health specialists and social workers will be brought together within GP practices.
“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.
“Care within communities will be greatly improved by bringing in new professional roles to work alongside and support GPs and nurses, enabling patients to access the most appropriate service as quickly as possible.
“I very much welcome the fact that prototype schemes are now being launched in Derry and Down. Recruitment for an estimated 200 posts is now underway and a further roll-out is planned for West Belfast in the coming months.
“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.”