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General practice at breaking point in north Wales

Dr Phil White, Chair GPC Wales, said: 

“Sadly, the BMA has been warning for years that general practice in north Wales is at breaking point, with practices continuing to hand back their keys to the health board. Workload is extremely high, and the gap continues to grow between the demand placed upon general practice and its capacity.

“Whilst longer term solutions have been put in place to alleviate problems, the issue needs to be addressed with urgency.

“There are areas in north Wales with no regular GPs and others where the number of GPs has halved. There’s a small pool of advanced nurse practitioners providing services, although this is extremely costly, unsustainable and does not provide the same expertise as a doctor; especially in terms of dealing with mental health, which represents a growing proportion of a GP's workload.

“More needs to be done to make north Wales an attractive location for GPs to work and live in, as the fact is, unless you have family ties to the area, it’s not currently an attractive prospect. 

“Retaining trained doctors needs to be the priority, as the numbers leaving the country to work elsewhere is high, along with GPs retiring early due to stress and burnout. This would alleviate the workload problems faced in north Wales. Only then can we provide the best care to our patients.”

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])