Wales General practitioner

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Urgent prescription for general practice in Wales

Urgent treatment to ensure GP survival Twibbon 2 1500x500.jpg

General practice is facing increasing and unprecedented pressures, with a significant gap between the demand placed upon it and its capacity. General Practice is forced to try and cope with inadequate resources, an unsustainable workload and a workforce under considerable strain across the whole of Wales.

Our urgent prescription for general practice in Wales shines a light on these issues and provides solutions to address these challenges.

Read the report in English

Read the report in Welsh


About the urgent prescription for general practice in Wales

Our urgent prescription for general practice in Wales calls for:

  • capacity to see and spend time with patients
  • increased practice funding
  • more staff to support GPs; and
  • less box ticking.

We are highlighting the challenges facing general practice across Wales and offering the solutions we feel are necessary to Welsh Government.


Latest information

  • Our collective voice

    The urgent prescription for general practice in Wales was launched at an event held at the National Assembly for Wales on Wednesday 12 October 2016, and all Assembly Members were provided with the following documents:

    Urgent prescription: A survey of general practice in 2016

    An urgent prescription for general practice in Wales

    Download the Welsh language versions:

    Rhagnodiad brys: Arolwg o feddygaeth teulu yn 2016

    Rhagnodiad brys ar gyfer meddygaeth teulu yng Nghymru


    The background

    In August 2016, we surveyed individual GPs in Wales to enable us to better understand their experiences. A mix of open, closed and multiple-choice questions provided comprehensive quantitative and qualitative data, identifying clear trends in terms of their experience and areas of concern.

    The survey was completed anonymously online, with 20% of individual GPs responding. Key results indicated the following:

    • Whilst general practice is currently a frustrating and difficult area to work in, GPs are dedicated to the profession and see the potential for it to be a positive place to work.
    • There are not enough GPs working in Wales and an increasing number of practices have faced the strain of carrying on in an understaffed practice or handing their keys back to the Local Health Board.
    • Many GPs are looking to leave general practice totally and others are being forced to reduce their working hours in order to manage the growing pressures. We already know that a large percentage of the GP workforce is reaching retirement.


    Monitoring the situation

    The results of the survey will form a baseline for a long term piece of work which will include biannual surveys to establish whether or not things are improving in general practice.

    The next survey is scheduled for February 2017 with a report to follow in March 2017.


  • Survey results

    The survey reveals the following:

    • An overwhelming number of respondents (82.1%) reported that they are worried about the sustainability of their practice.
    • 61.4% of respondents indicated that they do not have a good work life balance. Additionally 58.1% answered a supplementary question indicating that their work-life balance had worsened in the last 12 months.
    • Almost three quarters (74.8%) of respondents reported that the health of staff within their practice had already been impacted negatively by workload.
    • Worryingly, almost half (49.6%) said they would not recommend a career in general practice, however throughout their written answers noted their dedication and the potential for general practice to be a positive place to work.
    • 27.1 % indicated they are considering a career change and 13.8% are considering moving abroad.

    See the full survey results

    (Welsh language version)

    View the results via our infographics


  • Solutions

    GPCW has produced a document outlining urgent areas for action, and summarising the issues and solutions highlighted by the profession.

    We have presented short-term, medium-term and long-term solutions with a call for the following key areas to be addressed to turn around the current crisis facing general practice:

    • Recruitment
    • Workforce models
    • Workload
    • Finance
    • Clusters
    • Sustainability

    Read the solutions document

    (Welsh language version)


  • What's happening in your area?

    Prescription for general practice

    These heatmaps help illustrate the impact on general practice in England, Scotland and Wales. 

    Make sure you use the dropdown menu and search to find out what's happening in your area.


    • Choose an option from the Survey Question dropdown
    • Type in the name of your area in the Constituency field
    • The arrow displayed will show the impact in your area
    • Change the dropdown option to see more results

    Use the heatmap


  • Stories of struggling GPs

    The issues we aim to address are a harsh reality for GPs working on the front line of primary care.

    We've collected stories from real life doctors who share the everyday challenges they face to deliver the care their patients deserve.

    Find out more

  • Show your support

    There are some simple but important things that you can do to help keep the campaign visible and relevant. See how GPs across the country are showing their support for the urgent prescription campaign.

    Find out what you can do to help


    Launch event

    The Urgent Prescription for General Practice in Wales was launched at an event held at the National Assembly for Wales on Wednesday 12 October 2016. BMA Cymru Wales representatives, Assembly Members and media were in attendance.

    Read the news story

    See the picture gallery:

    An urgent prescription for general practice in Wales


  • Follow the conversation