GP contract funding in Wales to rise £27m in 2017/18

GP contract funding for Wales will rise around £27m in 2017/18 under a deal announced on Saturday by health secretary Vaughan Gething.

The deal - unveiled at the 2017 Welsh LMCs conference in Newport - includes a 2.7% uplift for GP pay and expenses.

Increased funding delivered through the deal is intended to provide a 1% pay rise for GPs, 1.4% to cover rising practice costs, and contributions towards indemnity costs, pensions administration, parental and sickness leave, and funding to cover a business improvement levy.

New enhanced services covering care homes, warfarin management, diabetes and the delivery of secondary care-initiated phlebotomy testing are also part of the deal.

GP enhanced services

Enhanced services for 2017/18 will fund practices in Wales for:

  • An enhanced service to all 22,700 nursing and residential care home residents in Wales.
  • A new diabetes local enhanced service will be offered by all GP practices.
  • A new warfarin management service in line with NICE guidelines.
  • Workload associated with undertaking phlebotomy requests generated from outside the practice.

GPC Wales has also secured a commitment from the Welsh government and NHS Wales to work together to improve GP access, reduce bureaucracy and tackle rising indemnity costs.

GPC Wales chair Dr Charlotte Jones said: 'GPC Wales welcomes the collaborative approach taken by Welsh government to help address the challenges facing GPs in Wales. I am certain that this approach will deliver the best outcomes for GPs and patients alike.

'The contract changes announced today will be part of a longer piece of work to review the entire contract and make it fit for the future.

GP funding

'GPC Wales is looking forward to engaging in ongoing collaborative discussions over the months ahead.

'Additionally, we welcome the ongoing investment into clusters, the recently announced £40m for premises development, and the £95m for training healthcare professionals that will support primary care. These funds go hand in hand with today’s announcement, with the ultimate aim of strengthening primary care.'

Welsh health secretary Mr Gething said: 'We have worked closely with our GP colleagues to create solutions that deliver the best care for patients. I’m confident that this approach of working in partnership is the right one, as we continue to transform primary care in Wales. It provides a strong platform for GPs to continue to provide high quality, sustainable, healthcare.'

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