Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) welcomes the publication of the second report into the Chronic Disease Management (CDM) programme, which highlights the success of general practice in managing certain chronic diseases, and improving patients’ health.

ICGP calls for more resources to provide timely equitable access to GP care, and double the number of GP nurses.

CDM brings care closer to people’s homes, and reduces hospital attendances.

28th March 2023

The Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) is the professional body for general practice in Ireland. The ICGP is the representative organisation for education, training and standards in general practice with 4,200 members, comprising over 85% of practicing GPs in Ireland, and over 900 trainees in supervised practice.

Responding to the publication of the second report into the implementation of the Structured Chronic Disease Management programme in General Practice by the HSE, the Medical Director of the ICGP, Dr Diarmuid Quinlan, said: “This report of the first two  years of the CDM programme shows how successful general practice has been in managing chronic disease in the community, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

“The report demonstrates the value and capacity of general practice, with over 90% of GPs and GP teams participating. We look forward  to the expansion of the programme in the coming years. This will require substantially greater resources for GPs and GP nurses. GP teams are central to the delivery of this programme. The CDM programme’s success is also a reflection of a very positive and proactive engagement between the HSE and the GP community.”

The CDM Programme supports GPs and their teams to provide a structured treatment programme for adult patients with medical or doctor visit cards and covers asthma, COPD, diabetes type 2, heart disease, heart failure, and stroke disease.

The HSE’s report shows:

  • 91% of patients with chronic disease were not attending hospital for the ongoing management of their chronic condition, which was now fully managed routinely in primary care
  • 91% of General Practitioners signed up for the CDM contract
  • 83% of eligible patients (65 years and older) enrolled   
  • Almost 320,000 patients have been seen under the programme
  • Around 800,000 reviews have been carried out by GPs and practice nurses
  • Improving trend self-reported lifestyle risk factors – 13% of patients had given up smoking between first and third visit; of patients who were obese at their first visit, 1% of these had achieved normal weight and a further 13% of them had reduced weight and are now be in the overweight category rather than obese.

The ICGP/HSE Integrated Care Lead for Prevention, Dr David McConaghy, said: “It is significant that for smokers, the results show that 13% quit smoking with the support of their GP under the CDM programme. There were also significant improvements in patients’ weight, physical activity and alcohol use. This proves that the structured care approach is successful, and is key to preventing disease as people age.”

The Chronic Disease Management programme was negotiated by the Irish Medical Organisation on behalf of GPs. The ICGP looks forward to the continued resourcing and successful expansion of the CDM programme.

Read the full report here


ISSUED BY: Aileen O’Meara, Communications Consultant, Irish College of General Practitioners. Tel. 01 2542984 / 087 2239830