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Belfast Live
Belfast Live
Damien Edgar

GP pressures across NI leads to delays warning over services

There will be delays to GP services across Northern Ireland due to a huge surge in calls over the weekend, the chair of the NI GP Committee has warned.

Dr Alan Stout said those calls over the weekend would add to the usual rush facing GPs when they got into their offices on Monday morning.

He warned that in Belfast alone, by midnight on Sunday there were 400 calls to be returned.

Read more: Northern Ireland weather: Warm start to Christmas week before return to seasonal norm

Speaking about overnight pressures on out of hours GP services this weekend, Alan Stout, chair of BMA’s Northern Ireland general practitioners committee, said: “There will be significant delays and difficulties today in practices across Northern Ireland due to a higher than usual volume of calls to out of hours GP services.

"As of midnight last night there were nearly 400 calls in Belfast alone to be returned by just two GPs covering this service.

"This is huge and unsafe pressure for frontline health professionals involved.

“These call backs will now spill over into Monday morning in practices along with an anticipated very high call volume on top of normal Monday morning rush.

"We would appeal to everyone to be patient with primary care staff in this highly difficult situation as we try our best to work through and assess patients.

"We expect complaints and criticism and would reiterate again that the crisis engulfing primary care is not our fault.

"It has been warned about for nearly a decade and needs urgent action.”


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