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HSE examined inclusion of GPs in PCT definition

An internal HSE action log from a meeting of the National Performance Oversight Group (NPOG) outlined work by the HSE’s National Director for Primary Care Mr John Hennessy to complete a proposal regarding the definition of PCTs and “if GPs need to be included”.

The meeting, held in January 2016, heard that work on the definition was underway in conjunction with the ICGP, according to files released via Freedom of Information legislation.

The log also stated that a review of PCTs was due for completion by the end of the first quarter of 2016.

However, a HSE spokesperson said the review was deferred pending the findings of research undertaken by the University of Limerick (UL).

“The findings of this will inform the workings of the primary care teams,” the spokesperson added.

 An internal study of HSE footfall on a select number of Primary Care Centres (PCCs), with data captured at a point in time, was also completed last year, the log noted. 

According to the HSE, a PCT is a “team of health professionals who work closely together to meet the needs of the people living in the community.  They provide a single point of contact to the health system.”

PCT services include GP, practice nurse and community nurse provision (public health nurse and community registered general nurse), home help/home care, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, and social work, among other services, the HSE said.

The UL’s research, A Study about Primary Care and Primary Care Teams in Ireland, funded by the Health Research Board, was completed at the end of February.

According to Principal Investigator of the three-year study, Prof Anne MacFarlane, work on preparing a short report/policy brief on the study is in its final stages. 

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