RCGP Wales responds to new GP access standards

Publication date: 21 March 2019

Responding to the Health Minister's announcement of a new set of access standards for GP practices, Dr Peter Saul, Joint-Chair of RCGP Wales said:

"GPs always strive to deliver the highest standard of patient care and we are proud that the overwhelming majority of patients (86%) are satisfied with the service that they receive from their family doctor. We must not forget that all too often GPs and their teams deliver this care in the most difficult of circumstances, with rising patient demand far outstripping the capacity of GPs working on the ground.

This situation is concerning for both patients and those working in the service, indeed 31% of GPs have reported to us that they are so stressed they feel they cannot cope at least once a month. We know that GPs are also concerned about what the future will hold for them, with 72% of GPs telling us that they expect working in general practice to get worse in the next 5 years.

We have been clear that both patients and doctors deserve better and we share the Minister’s vision for a continually improving GP service for patients. However, this vision will only be achieved through meaningful action. We have consistently called for funding to general practice to increase to 11% of the total Welsh NHS budget, an increase from its current level of 7.30%, which represents the lowest proportion spend on general practice of any part of the UK. Increasing funding to general practice would help to transform the service and would mean that there would be enough GPs and members of the extended practice team in place to ensure that patients are able to receive the care that they need when they require it.

We look forward to hearing from the Minister on the financial support that will be made available to GP practices to help them meet the standards that he has put forward today and will of course continue to work alongside the Welsh Government to ensure that patients receive the highest possible standard of care."

Further Information

Lizzie Edwards
Devolved Councils Campaigns and Public Affairs Officer
0203 188 7741
07787 216 842

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. 

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