Press Release

Minister Kathleen Lynch launches General Practice Minor Surgery Research Network Project

The Minister for Primary Care, Social Care and Mental Health, Kathleen Lynch TD, today launched a new research project aimed at standardising the provision of minor surgery procedures in General Practices. The objective of the research is to develop a standardised accreditation process for the provision of minor surgery in general practice.

The Research Network Project will undertake and record activity and outcomes from minor surgical procedures in a sample of practices in order to develop and test an accreditation process.

The network began in August with 24 GP Surgeons in 20 practices across 11 counties performing and recording a wide range of surgical procedures. The network is run by the ICGP, funded by the HSE Primary Care Division and overseen by a multi-disciplinary Steering Group representing all stakeholders.

Minister Lynch said “the network is an important step in accrediting minor surgical procedures which can be done outside of Acute Hospitals. This evidence based  project will provide information  to guide future service development and the accreditation process.  If specific minor surgery procedures can be delivered safely in primary care then we will encourage and resource the development of this service.   I want to thank all those involved in this excellent project for their commitment and engagement.  Patients will benefit greatly from enhanced services like minor surgery being provided in primary care.”

Mr John Hennessy, HSE National Director for Primary Care commented “The development of innovative services that extend the range of services in primary settings is a key initiative for the Primary Care Division.  I want to ensure that patients can access as wide a range of services as clinically possible in their own communities rather than having to travel to hospital for minor procedures.  This minor surgery research and accreditation project will enable us to expand our community services and I want to thank all of the GPs and the ICGP for working with us to deliver more services in GP surgeries.  I want to acknowledge the many GPs who provide minor surgery and I anticipate that this project will strengthen the service.”

Speaking on behalf of ICGP Mr Kieran Ryan, CEO of ICGP said  “The purpose of the research being launched today is to give formal recognition to the minor surgical expertise in general practice and establish benchmark standards for carrying it out.  This is in keeping with our role as the Irish College of General Practitioners to ensure that all activity in general practice is carried out against standardised criteria and in line with international best practice. The evidence from this project will provide meaningful information to the service providers and planners to guide development of this accreditation process and the expansion of minor surgery in general practice.”