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GP leaders call for primary care boost from Budget

Wales needs extra £297m to save general practice

Adrian O'Dowd

Monday, 17 October 2016

General practice in Wales needs an additional £297 million of investment by 2021 to help it survive, according to RCGP Wales in a last minute appeal made before this week’s draft Budget for the country.

The Welsh government is set to unveil its draft budget tomorrow and the RCGP in Wales has asked ministers to use this as an opportunity to secure the future of family doctor services in Wales.

Years of under-investment have meant that GPs in Wales are facing a perfect storm of increased demand, growing workloads and a shrinking workforce, argued the college.

As the next step of its Put Patients First: Back General Practice campaign, RCGP Wales has today launched a Transform General Practice document as a timetable for action over the coming year that gives the government a roadmap to stabilise general practice in Wales.

The document calls for an extra £297 million for general practice by the end of the current Welsh Assembly’s term in 2021-22, based on 2015-16 figures to:

  • help recruit 500 more GPs
  • substantially increase the numbers of nurses and paramedics working in primary care
  • allow for greater use of technology to enhance patient care.

Dr Rebecca Payne, chair of RCGP Wales, said: “We have laid out clear plans that will make the difference we need, along with a time frame for beginning the delivery of these important actions over the next 12 months.

“There is an urgent need to invest, to embark on an ambitious recruitment campaign, including increasing the places for GP training here in Wales to 200 per year, and addressing urgently the number of professionals in the wider primary care team, such as nurses and paramedics.

“To ensure we are able to continue to provide the very best service for our patients, I urge the Welsh government to grasp this opportunity to secure a strong, safe and sustainable future for general practice in Wales.”

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