GP leader vows to relieve workload

Alan Stout, the newly elected chair of the BMA Northern Ireland GPs committee, has said he will build on the work of his predecessor Tom Black.

Dr Stout, a GP in east Belfast, has taken over from Dr Black who chaired the committee for the last seven years.

Speaking about his appointment, Dr Stout said: ‘I am honoured to be elected as the new chair of NIGPC. My predecessor, Tom Black, has worked tirelessly, and in the face of challenging economic and political circumstances, to try and improve primary care in Northern Ireland.

‘I am looking forward to building on his work, in particular the development of multidisciplinary teams across Northern Ireland, which I believe offer a real chance to improve workload for GPs and help make sure patients are seen in a timely fashion.

‘The challenges faced by GPs across Northern Ireland are very real; it only takes one GP in a practice retiring, being ill or choosing to leave to put the whole practice in jeopardy.

‘While we have managed to stabilise the situation we now need to redouble our efforts to secure core funding for general practice.

‘The plans laid out in Health and Well-being 2026 were welcome, but the current political impasse is highly damaging to general practice and secondary care. We really need to see devolved government re-established as quickly as possible.’

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