LMCs say Wales needs more GPs

The Welsh Assembly government must find a way to boost GP numbers in Wales that is cost-neutral for practices, according to Welsh GPs.

Dr Jones: protection for practices (Photograph: Wilde Fry)
Dr Jones: protection for practices (Photograph: Wilde Fry)

The Welsh LMCs conference heard how the number of GPs per head in Wales had fallen behind the UK average.

Deputy GPC Wales chairwoman Dr Charlotte Jones also called for practices to be protected against a cut in income if they take on a new GP partner. She told the conference: 'A strategy to expand the number of GPs in Wales should be cost-neutral to practices and we will push for it.'

The conference called on the government to hold 'urgent talks' with GPs to see how numbers can be boosted 'particularly in light of the ageing GP population' in Wales.

Many GPs blamed the widening gap in pay between Welsh and English GPs. Data from the NHS Information Centre shows that in 2008/9 GPs in Wales earned on average 18 per cent less than those in England, equivalent to £16,773.

But GPC Wales chairman Dr David Bailey said the pay gap was because list sizes were smaller in Wales.

The conference also called for additional funding to increase the number of GPs in Wales to help move more hospital care into general practice.

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