Wales General practitioner

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General practice urged to consider best use of extra funding

Charlotte Jones - Wales GPC chair 16x9
JONES: Extra money meant to transform primary care

GP leaders in Wales have written to practices to advise them how to make the most of extra funding for primary care.

The Welsh Government announced an extra £43m in April — with £10m handed to Wales’s 64 clusters of primary care.

In her letter to the cluster leads, BMA Welsh GPs committee chair Charlotte Jones explains that the aim of the money is meant to transform primary care and that it is 'unrealistic to think that individual practices are going to see large injections of financial resources any time soon into core funding'.

She writes: 'It is incumbent on us to use these monies to have their biggest impact on us, as all GPs are facing relentless demands and workload day to day.

'GPC Wales would urge all practice cluster leads to consider how [the money] may be best spent on making their working days less pressured to enable them to get more involved in developing the clusters, with the ultimate goal of improving services available to patients.'

Some of the suggestions made by GPC Wales include: widening availability of pharmacists within practice; widening access to musculoskeletal specialists; and considering locums employed by the health board.

Dr Jones also explained that any new staff should be employed by health boards, given the difficult circumstances.

She concludes: 'GPC Wales would welcome feedback via email but encourages practice cluster leads to utilise these new monies to maximal effect.'

The £10m of cluster funds were an increase on the £6m extra announced last year.

The extra funding came after BMA Cymru Wales repeated calls for more primary care resources.

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