Workload pressures and the GP shortage forcing practices into closure, says RCGP Wales

Publication date: 21 August 2018

Responding to BBC Wales figures on practice closures, RCGP Wales has said practices are being forced into closing their doors due to a lack of support to cope with rising patient demand and excessive workload pressures.

Dr Jane Fenton-May, Vice-Chair of Royal College of General Practitioners Wales, said:

"Some practices will close as part of efforts to pool resources, but too many are being forced to shut their doors because the lack of support for general practice means it's simply impossible to keep up with rising patient demand.

"Welsh general practice has the lowest percentage of NHS spend of anywhere in the UK. Wales also has the lowest number of GP training places based on population, which means the workforce can't keep up with demand even when places are filled. This is in the context of excessive workforce pressures driving GPs out of the profession early.

"Until this is addressed it's likely that patients will feel the disruption of practices being forced into closing."

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. Data obtained by BBC Wales shows that in 2017/18 six main practices and seven branch surgeries closed, with almost 15,000 patients seeing their practice close.
  3. The same data shows that since 2013, 17 main and 28 branch surgeries have closed, with 42,800 patients having to find a new surgery.
  4. In 2016/17 Welsh general practice received 7.30% of NHS spend. Across the UK that figure was 8.88%.
  5. Wales has 136 GP training places. On a UK per patient average it would have 184. RCGP is calling for 200 GP training places in Wales.

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