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Dr Alan Stout appointed BMA Northern Ireland council chair

Dr Alan Stout appointed BMA Northern Ireland council chair

A former GP committee chair has been elected to lead the BMA’s Northern Ireland council.

East Belfast GP Dr Alan Stout has been elected as chair of the council, and on 11 July will take over from Dr Tom Black, a GP in Derry who was in the role for the last six years.

Dr Stout, who just stepped down as GPC Northern Ireland chair, said he was ‘honoured’ to be taking up the new post and that he will ‘work hard’ to ensure doctors voices ‘are heard every step of the way’.

He said: ‘It is an extremely uncertain time in the health service. Doctors in our hospitals and GP surgeries are being forced to deliver care in a system reeling from years of political absenteeism, underfunding, declining workforce numbers and the worst waiting lists in the UK.

‘Add in years of below inflationary and delayed pay rises and workforce morale has never been lower.

‘When we see our colleagues working outside of Northern Ireland on better pay and conditions, it should come as no surprise that for the first time this year we see junior doctors taking strike action and other branches in pay disputes with government.’

Dr Stout was chair of the NI GPC for the last six years and currently works as a GP in East Belfast.

Last week Armagh GP partner Dr Frances O’Hagan was elected to succeed Dr Stout as chair of the GPC.

As reported by Pulse earlier this year, Northern Ireland’s GPs are set to see the full £38.9m worth of QOF funding repurposed for core services and indemnity cover this year.

As the final details of the 2024/25 contract – effective from 1 April – were agreed in May, the BMA’s GP Committee said negotiations had concluded ‘successfully’ but that there was more to be done.