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BMA Cymru Wales response to Wales Auditor Generals report on primary care services

Commenting on the Wales Auditor General’s report on primary care services Dr Phil White, Chair of BMA Cymru Wales’ General Practitioners Committee said: 

“We welcome the findings of this report. After years of underinvestment in primary care we have been looking towards this new period of investment and policy development with growing impatience. 

“We share the concerns that change is happening at too slow a pace and with too limited scale, something we’ve been highlighting for years. It’s no good to inject a single lump sum of cash into the system and expect effective change, increased funding needs to be supported by the spreading of good practice and sustainable ongoing financial support for successful schemes. 

“BMA Cymru Wales has repeatedly warned of the growing gap between the demand placed upon general practice and its capacity. Primary care has historically suffered years of underinvestment while workload for GPs continues to rise year on year. Non-medical workload has also been steadily increasing, with appointments being blocked with requests from local authorities and benefit agencies for additional letters. GPs are being asked to do more with less while patients struggle to access appointments.

“It is wrong, however, for the report to state that performance cannot be measured when every consultation between a patient and GP is recorded electronically. BMA Cymru Wales has previously requested this consultation data be extracted and published, but disappointingly we’ve yet to see any movement on this by Welsh Government. Using this data would give us greater clarity on what’s working and where so funding can be focused in the right areas, bettering the whole service.

“Measures must to be taken to improve the pace and scale of improvements to primary care services. Patients and doctors across Wales have already waited too long.”

For further information please contact:

BMA Cymru Wales, Fifth floor, 2 Caspian Point, Caspian Way, Cardiff Bay, Cardiff, CF10 4DQ
Telephone: 029 2047 4626
Mobile: 07500 765994
Email: Carla Murphy ([email protected])