GP Practices are independent, small businesses, often operating from their own premises. They have a responsibility for employing their own staff including doctors, nurses, receptionists and healthcare assistants. The GP Practice works alongside other healthcare professionals such as district nurses, health visitors and social workers which are employed by Health and Social Care Trusts.
The contract between the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) and GPs is available on the Department of Health website.
The HSCB provides funding to GP practices depending on the number and types of patients registered with them.
The average funding that Northern Ireland GP practices receive per patient annually is approximately £100. Therefore, if a GP practice has 5000 patients on their list, they receive approximately £500,000 per year from the HSCB to deliver general medical services to them.
This can be further broken down as follows:
In Northern Ireland the average salary for a GP Partner (one who owns a GP Practice with other Partners) is around £98,500.
In addition, the Board provides funding for GP Practices as follows:
The retainer scheme is run by the HSCB and is designed to assist in retention of GPs in primary care in Northern Ireland. GP partners and GPs who are contracted to work for a Trust or another body for more than 20 hours per week are excluded from the scheme.
The GP Practice employ the scheme GP on a salaried basis and the HSCB pay the practice a retainer fee for each session worked.
The scheme GP must work a minimum of 4 sessions a week in the GP Practice and 1 session a month in Out of Hours.
The retainer scheme provides stable work in a Practice for the scheme GP, as well as a mandatory funded Certified Professional Development programme to assist with appraisal and revalidation.
Each placement lasts a maximum of two years.