Nurses at heart of extended hours plans in Wales

Practices in Wales have been given flexibility to include nurses in their plans for staffing extended hours, in a departure from the deal for England and Scotland.

Practices in Wales will receive £1.66 per patient for the extended hours directed enhanced service (DES), less than the £2.95 in England.

However, the Welsh DES will include flexibilities such as enabling cover to be provided by ‘the most effective skill mix'.

The position in England and Scotland is that minimum cover is to be provided by a solo GP. Practices in Scotland are expected to be offered about £1.86 per patient.

Other flexibilities for Welsh practices include an agreement that practices lacking capacity during core hours will not have to extend hours.

It has more detail than the English and Scottish deals, which are still being negotiated.

The Welsh DES will also involve practices participating in schemes to reduce the number of people accessing out-of-hours services and A&E.

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