GP practices facing closure will be offered support packages by the Welsh Government, by Philip Dewey, 18 September 2015

The scheme has been agreed with NHS Wales and the General Practitioners Committee (GPC) Wales.

Dr Charlotte Jones, chair of GPC Wales, said: “I’m delighted GPC Wales and NHS Wales have now agreed a framework for assessing the sustainability of GP practices in Wales.

“It is vital that access and the continuity of services are secured for patients across Wales and it is important to recognise that rural and deprived urban communities face unique challenges.”

‘Complex care’
In July the Welsh Government vowed to increase investment in primary care services – such as GP surgeries, NHS dentists, and opticians – in a bid to reduce the amount of patients visiting hospitals.

An extensive £34m funding package has been invested in the Wales NHS to train more nurses, attract more GPs to North Wales, and provide 24-hour healthcare closer to people’s homes.

The Welsh Government hopes the funding will free up GPs’ time and professional expertise to care for people with complex conditions, helping to keep them healthy at home, and preventing unnecessary hospital admissions.

The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) Wales has also welcomed the introduction of support packages to help practices in difficulty.

They cited a self-published report called Patient Safety Implications of GP Workload which highlighted the danger stressful workloads.

‘Improving services’
Dr Paul Myres, chair of RCGP Wales said: “Many of our colleagues are trying to deal with excessive workloads and that puts strain on practices and practice staff.

“This scheme helps practices to identify when they may be in difficulty, balancing their work and capacity to deliver and to make a case that extra support is needed.

“It is not yet clear exactly what support health boards will be able to provide. We very much hope the support that can be provided will help practices maintain, if not improve their services.

“RCGP Wales is calling for an occupational health service to be made available as a matter of urgency to practices across Wales.”

BBC News: Help offered for struggling GP practices in Wales  18 Sep 2015

Wales online: ‘There simply aren’t enough doctors out there’ GP out-of-hours service to be removed from two Welsh hospitals  14 Sep 2015     The move, agreed by Cwm Taf University Health Board, will take place at the end of September for the foreseeable future…

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