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Health And Social Care Groups

Volume 400: debated on Monday 3 March 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the operation of Local Health and Social Care Groups in Northern Ireland. [99337]

All 15 Local Health and Social Care Groups (LHSCGs) have been established. 195 of the management board positions have been filled and chairs have been elected for each group. Unfortunately, GPs have not to date taken up their places on the groups. However, I recently met with GP representatives and further discussions are planned with the profession.In their first year of operation, LHSCGs have been attending to internal organisational and personal development needs. They have also been making important decisions about primary care development in their respective areas. They have been allocated more than £ 3million, recovered from the administrative costs following the ending of GP fundholding, to address service gaps which they have identified in primary care, and have provided a boost to the basic primary care infrastructure through the purchase of much needed equipment for health centres, GPs and other primary care providers.