Welsh Government press release, 24 February 2016: GP surgeries in Wales open for longer, new figures show
More GP surgeries in Wales are open for longer, making it easier for people to access health services, new figures published today show.
Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford said the figures show the Welsh Government is delivering on one of its key Programme for Government commitments.
The statistics published today show in 2015:
- 82% of GP practices were open for daily core hours (8am to 6.30pm Mondays to Fridays) or within one hour of the daily core hours up from 60% in 2011
- 97% of practices offered appointments at any time between 5pm and 6.30pm on at least two week days, up from 92% in 2011
- 79% of practices offered appointments at any time between 5pm and 6.30pm every day, up from 63% in 2011
- The percentage of practices closed half day on one week day has fallen from 19% in 2011 to 4% in 2015.
Professor Drakeford said:
“In 2011, we made a commitment to the people of Wales that we would make it easier to access GP services. Figures released today show we are delivering on that.
“GPs play a leading role in meeting people’s needs locally, especially for people with complex needs. GP surgeries across Wales are working hard to extend opening hours beyond 5pm and to avoid closing for half a day a week. They are also making more appointments available.
“In a time of austerity, I am pleased we have been able to invest new money in primary care, through our primary care plan. It is important access continues to improve so people have the right care and advice from the right person, at the right time. The right person may be a pharmacist, a physiotherapist, a nurse, a social worker or a local voluntary organisation. We want GPs to be able to focus their time and expertise on people with more complex care needs.”
The Welsh Government continues to work with GPs’ representatives and health boards to improve access.
More than £40m has been invested in 2015-16 to develop primary care services across Wales, building on the Welsh Government’s primary care plan to move more care out of hospitals into local communities and improve access to preventative, integrated, community, and primary and social care services.