St James’s Hospital, Dublin is planning “to engage to re-establish” a GP liaison committee, which has not met since late 2019. The issue was recently raised on Twitter by Dublin GP Dr Conor O’Kelly (@DrConorOKelly), who wrote on 14 September that it was a year since the “GP liaison committee collapse” and he supposed “not much has happened since that’s worth discussing”.
GP and Medical Council President Dr Rita Doyle was one of the respondents to the tweet, stating that it was “urgent and pressing that [the committee] is resuscitated”. A spokesperson for St James’s Hospital told the Medical Independent “the hospital values its partnerships with all community services and will continue to engage to re-establish this committee”.
Asked when the committee had last met, the hospital spokesperson said it was “late last year”, prior to the start of the current pandemic. The spokesperson said the hospital has engaged with the chief officer of the area’s community healthcare organisation to work on the re-establishment of the liaison committee.
Regarding the importance of liaison work with local GPs during the pandemic, the spokesperson said: “We can confirm that GP representatives were invited to participate in and attended an oversight group to support the resumption of ambulatory services at St James’s Hospital after the initial Covid-19 outbreak”.
Separately, a campaign highlighting the “advantages of a career in general practice” has been launched by the ICGP. The #BEaGP social media initiative will run over the coming weeks. A new category of emergency medicine is now included under an expanded scheme for recognition of prior learning.