Welsh LMCs urge practices to open contracted hours

Welsh LMCs have urged practices to examine their availability to patients and recommended that practices that close for a half a day should consider re-opening.

Chairman of GPC Wales, Dr Bailey, encouraged GPs to look at their service from the patient's point of view
Chairman of GPC Wales, Dr Bailey, encouraged GPs to look at their service from the patient's point of view

Representatives at the Welsh LMCs' conference in Llandudno on Saturday voted that 'GP practices should have a doors-open policy for almost all of the GMS contracted hours of 8am to 6.30pm Monday to Friday'.

Dr David Bailey, chairman of GPC Wales, said that since the GMS contract came into operation in 2004 ‘its difficult to justify a half-day closure'.

He said the recommendations were a  ‘political issue' and had been made to encourage GPs to maximise their scores in the patient experience survey that is being launched this year. 

Dr Bailey said it was important to look at the service from a patient's view point to ensure the practice is responsive to their needs and expectations.

‘Overall, general practice is about balancing resources to meet the reasonable needs of the patients of the practice and this can be difficult with the inevitable peaks and troughs in demand,' he said.

‘However, if GPs and practices do not make themselves available and ensure reasonable access to services, then governments may choose to alter regulations to ensure that practices comply with a more rigid GMS contract in the future,' he added.

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