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Primary Care Multi-Disciplinary Teams bring positive outcomes to local patients


Delegates at official launch of Implementation of Primary Care Multi-Disciplinary Teams

The Western Trust, in partnership with the Derry GP Federation of Family Practices has today (23 January 2020) officially launched the implementation of Primary Care Multi-Disciplinary Teams (MDTs) in the local area, a major Transformation initiative funded by the Department of Health.

MDTs consists of Physiotherapists, Social Workers, Social Work Assistants and Mental Health Practitioners, who work in GP Practices alongside the existing practice teams to provide enhanced access to health and social care services within a primary care setting. Patients registered to a MDT practice are able to book an appointment directly with any of these new services, without first having to see their GP. The model also includes significant investment in additional nursing specialist roles such as health visiting and district nursing.

The Derry GP Federation were one of the first areas in Northern Ireland to benefit from this transformation initiative. Since its introduction, just over one year ago, over 20,000 patient appointments have taken place with these new MDT staff.

The project has recruited significant numbers of additional staff to work within GP practices. 72 staff are already in post and 52 more are due to start in coming months. To accommodate these additional staff, a significant programme of capital investment in the buildings which house GP practices has been accompanying the project.

Health Minister Robin Swann said: “Multi-disciplinary teams are a key part of our overall programme of transforming health and social care services in Northern Ireland, with the New Decade New Approach document seeking to roll the initiative out to serve a further 100,000 patients by the end of March 2021.

“Already in the North West £6m has been invested in new staff while a further £2.5m has been invested into expanding the premises which house GP practices to ensure that they can accommodate these new staff.


“I would like to extend my thanks to the GP Federation and the Western Trust for their commitment to rolling out MDTs. I look forward to having an opportunity in the future to meet with you and hear at first-hand how MDTs are improving health and social care outcomes for your patients.”

Speaking to the official launch, Dr Anne Kilgallen, Western Trust Chief Executive said: “Great progress has been made throughout the year to develop MDTs in the Derry GP Federation area. By working together with our colleagues in GP Practices, we have been able to provide our local patients with a system focused on prevention and early intervention, rather than just ill-health.

“MDTs demonstrate the success of transformation and the need to reform and personalise our services to meet the evolving health and social care needs our population. By offering patients more accessible care in the community, we are seeing very positive outcomes from this service.”

Dr Martin McCloskey, Chair of the Derry Federation of Family Practices added: “The development of MDTs in our area has seen an increase in capacity in GP practices. The approach sees our practice teams being supported to identify opportunities for early intervention, with an increased focus on the physical, mental and social wellbeing of our communities.

“We are now beginning to see the rewards and are confident that MDTs will not only improve the health and well being of our local communities but help to secure the future of General Practice in the North West.”