There has been much talk of late, of the Health Minister’s pledge to improve access to GPs.
We have repeatedly warned the Welsh Government that there is little appetite among the GP workforce to work longer hours for free.
We are supportive of there being late, bookable appointments up to 6:20pm – beyond people’s nine-to-five working hours to ensure that patients receive the optimum quality care, with the ultimate aim of producing a better patient experience for everyone.
Welsh GPs have been very pro-active in improving patient access by reducing half day closing and providing appointments after 5pm.
But longer access must be negotiated and funded via a Direct Enhanced Service – something which every health board in Wales is able to offer now, or contracting with out-of-hours organisations.
Just to be clear – GPC Wales has no intention to renegotiate the UK contract to make Welsh GPs work evenings and weekends.
Read more on the Minister’s pledge here