GPs in Wales switch £5 million access funds to DES basket

GPs in Wales will be able to maintain existing hours without losing funding.

Practices will be offered a 'basket' of direct enhanced services (DESs) to choose from, said GPC Wales chairman Dr David Bailey.

The Welsh access DES will be discontinued and £5 million of funding will be invested into a menu of other services. 

The other services have not been confirmed, but GPC Wales and the Welsh Assembly have discussed chronic disease management, sexual health, alcohol and obesity.

Practices will take up different DESs depending on their patient's needs, after discussion with their local health board, said Dr Bailey. 

The scheme is similar to a Scottish enhanced services model used this year, where health boards must commission three services from a menu of nine. This will now end in Scotland as an extended hours DES, similar to the English arrangement, starts in April.

The extended hours DES is likely to be more flexible than in England. Practices will qualify for funds by participating in schemes to reduce use of out-of-hours and A&E services. 

tom.ireland@haymarket.com

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