Professor of Primary Healthcare Research, Anne MacFarlane has been awarded €330,000 by the Health Research Board (HRB) to investigate the impact of primary care reforms in Ireland.  Professor MacFarlane explains the significance of this research; “We know that the vast majority of illness experiences are treated in the primary care setting. Therefore the organisation of primary care services in the community is extremely important. It is essential that patients can access services when they need them and the professionals working in primary care are connected with each other.”

This grant will support an evaluation of the reform processes relating to the development of Primary Care Teams as outlined in the 2001 Department of Health primary care strategy. The reform process has been underway over the past decade with mixed results. To date,  there has been no major analysis of the implementation of primary care teams involving all stakeholders.  This study will address these major gaps in knowledge about the reform of our primary care services. 

This project is one of four University of Limerick research programmes which were awarded a total of €1.2 million from the Health Research Board. This multidisciplinary project also includes co-applicants Professor Walter Cullen, Graduate Entry Medical School, UL, Dr. Norelee Kennedy, Clinical Therapies UL, Libby Kinneen, HSE and Professor Carl May, University of Southampton. Collaborators also include the Paul Partnership, a community project in Limerick, regional GPs andpractice nurses, HSE primary care clinicians and managers, Department of Health & Children, Professor Colum Dunne, Director of Research, Graduate Entry Medical School, UL.