GP concern about lack of funding revealed in new RCGP Wales report, as College calls for 11% of the NHS budget

Publication date: 04 December 2018

RCGP Wales has today launched a report, 'Transforming general practice: Building a profession fit for the future', presenting findings from a recent workforce survey and outlining severe concerns about underfunding.

The College has called on the Welsh Government to commit to "giving general practice 11% of the Welsh NHS budget, in turn giving patients the type of care they need." The call comes on the day Welsh Assembly Members debate the draft budget for 2019-20.

'Transforming general practice' presents a snapshot of the state of general practice in Wales. It shows high levels of stress, concern about the future, and worry about financial sustainability.

The report revealed that 42% of GPs believe it is financially unsustainable to run a practice, with 82% of those citing 'insufficient core funding' as the cause. 85% of GPs say the funding available from all sources for general practice is not enough (43% 'nowhere near enough', 42% 'not quite enough').

Dr Mair Hopkin and Dr Peter Saul, Joint Chairs of Royal College of General Practitioners Wales, said:

"This report highlights the true cost of underfunding in Welsh general practice and demonstrates that things need to change.

"More of the same won't deliver the best results for an ageing population with an increase in multiple, long-term conditions. Patients need to be able to access services in their community and get help before issues get worse.

"Our recommendations for change are geared towards supporting GPs to deliver the very best care for patients. It needs to be underpinned by a step change in funding, giving general practice 11% of the Welsh NHS budget, in turn giving patients the type of care they need.

"This report presents comprehensive evidence that general practice needs more support and outlines constructive suggestions to make it happen. Things need to change. GPs deserve better and patients deserve better."

Further Information

Louis Urruty
RCGP Wales Policy and Public Affairs Officer
0203 188 7767 / 07341 737 034

Notes to editor

  1. The Royal College of GPs Wales represents a network of around 2,000 GPs, aiming to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on resources, education, training, research and clinical standards.
  2. The survey was conducted by ComRes on behalf of RCGP Wales. It surveyed 137 GPs working in Wales, with fieldwork dates of 16 August – 26 September 2018.
  3. Other key findings include:
  1. 31% of GPs, at least once a week, are so stressed they feel they cannot cope
  2. 23% of GPs say they were unlikely to be working in general practice in 5 years
  3. 72% of GPs say they expected working in general practice to get worse in the next 5 years

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