New service for GP practices

The Southern Trust, working in partnership with Newry and District GP Federation, has appointed five social workers to work alongside local GP Practice teams.

Thursday, 1st October 2020, 8:34 am
The first five Social Workers have been appointed to local GP Practices (Meadowlands and Clanrye Surgeries, Newry and Dr McNiff and Partners at Banbridge Group Surgery) as part of a new project to transform primary care in the area. From left to right are: Elaine Trainor,  MDT Social Worker, Sharon Campbell, MDT Social Worker, Martina McAloon, MDT Social Work Lead, Fidelma Ruddy, MDT Social Worker, Craigene Wilkinson, MDT Social Worker, Valerie Berry, MDT Social Worker.
The first five Social Workers have been appointed to local GP Practices (Meadowlands and Clanrye Surgeries, Newry and Dr McNiff and Partners at Banbridge Group Surgery) as part of a new project to transform primary care in the area. From left to right are: Elaine Trainor, MDT Social Worker, Sharon Campbell, MDT Social Worker, Martina McAloon, MDT Social Work Lead, Fidelma Ruddy, MDT Social Worker, Craigene Wilkinson, MDT Social Worker, Valerie Berry, MDT Social Worker.

This is the latest phase of the ‘Multi-Disciplinary Teams’ (MDT) initiative which aims to promote improved physical health, mental health and social wellbeing in local communities.

This innovative approach involves the appointment of practice-based physiotherapists, mental health practitioners and social workers within GP practices.

A number of First Contact Physiotherapists and Mental Health Practitioners have already been appointed and now Social Workers are joining the teams at Dr McNiff and Partners at Banbridge Group Surgery, Meadowlands and Clanrye Surgeries - Newry, and through time, all participating GP practices will have these roles within their team.

Dr Tayo Idowu, Co-Chair Primary Care Multi-Disciplinary Team Project Board said: “With growing demand for health and social care and now the challenges of COVID-19, we need to continue to transform the way we deliver care, to meet the needs of local people and to make the best use of our resources.

“The MDT model aims to address any issues that you face at the earliest opportunity, providing access to a range of expert physiotherapists, social workers and mental health practitioners who can provide you with the care, advice and support that you need. This will help GPs to refocus their expertise on patients with more complex issues who require more time - which may prevent many unnecessary hospital referrals and reduce waiting times.”

Social Work, Physiotherapy and Mental Health services are available to patients registered with participating practices and can be accessed directly without seeing a GP first - ask at reception for details.

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