RCGP Wales: Difficulties for primary care clusters show why workforce issues need to be addressed

Publication date: 17 January 2018

Ahead of a debate on primary care clusters in the National Assembly for Wales, the Royal College of General Practitioners in Wales has said the difficulties primary care clusters are facing demonstrates why workforce issues need to be addressed.

The Health, Social Care and Sport Committee's Report on the inquiry into primary care, published in October 2017, was clear that clusters were facing some challenges, stating:

"It is clear that clusters have a long way to go before they deliver on the Welsh Government's ambitions for them to play a significant role in planning the transfer of services and resources out of hospitals and into local communities."

The Committee published 16 recommendations to improve cluster working. The Welsh Government published a response to these recommendations on 10 January.

On Wednesday 17 January a debate on the Committee's report will take place in the National Assembly for Wales.

Dr Rebecca Payne, Chair of RCGP Wales, said:

"Cluster working is a welcome development but to maximise its potential the Welsh Government needs to take action and address the underlying issues of recruitment and retention."

"RCGP Wales welcomed the Health, Social Care and Sport's Committee's report on primary care clusters, which contained many sensible recommendations. We remain committed to the cluster model as part of the future of primary care but recognise that much more work is needed if they are to deliver a significant improvement in patient care.

"The GP workforce is already stretched. Rising workloads and staff shortages mean many GPs are having to work longer days to meet patient demand. This causes difficulties in fully engaging with clusters.

"RCGP Wales has been calling on the Welsh Government to expand the GP workforce by 485 GPs by 2021. This can be achieved by building on the recent recruitment campaign and increasing the number of GP training places from 136 to 200 a year. We also need to do more to encourage experienced GPs to stay in the profession for longer, allowing practices and patients to benefit from their expertise and leadership."

Further Information

Louis Urruty
RCGP Wales Policy and Public Affairs Officer
0203 188 7767

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. Primary care clusters bring together GPs with other healthcare professionals, such as pharmacists, physios and primary care paramedics, to plan and deliver services for patients. There are 64 clusters across Wales serving populations of between 30,000 and 50,000 patients.
  3. The Health, Social Care and Sport Committee's Report can be found in full: assembly.wales/laid%20documents/cr-ld11226/cr-ld11226-e.pdf
  4. The Welsh Government's response can be found in full: assembly.wales/laid%20documents/gen-ld11349/gen-ld11349-e.pdf

The item has been added to your basket.

Continue shopping

Go to basket

This item is out of stock.

Continue shopping

The item is out of stock.

Yes Continue shopping

An error occured adding your item to the basket:

Continue shopping