Anger at rewards for managerial failure
4 February 2013
Ministers are rewarding health service managers who are failing to deliver for patients, doctors leaders have claimed.
Northern Ireland GPs have hit out at a decision by health, social services and public safety minister Edwin Poots to hand over £7m to health bosses to help address winter pressures in hospitals.
The announcement comes just months after the minister awarded £13m additional money to health and social care trusts to help them tackle spiralling waiting times for hospital appointments and surgical procedures.
The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety has received £10m additional funding in the latest monitoring round from finance minister Sammy Wilson.
The monitoring rounds take place three times in each financial year — in June, October and January — and allow the Northern Ireland executive to reallocate funding and address unforeseen financial pressures within the financial year.
Mr Poots said he would use the majority of the money to ‘address additional demand on emergency departments and other acute health services as a result of winter and unscheduled care pressures’.
BMA Northern Ireland GPs committee chair Tom Black said he was disappointed at the decision to allocate even more money to health and social care trusts.
He said: ‘The GP budget is 5.5 per cent of the total spend of the health service despite the fact we deliver close to 90 per cent of the workload.
‘The best way to protect secondary care is to improve access to primary care.’
NIGPC member Brian Patterson said: ‘It appears to me that Mr Poots is choosing to reward failure.
‘Of course, any investment in the health service is to be welcomed but it should go where it is needed and where it is known it will provide the greatest benefits.
‘We shouldn’t be giving more money to the trusts so they can continue to do things badly.’