Welsh Labour’s Member of the Senedd for Gower, Rebecca Evans MS, has welcomed the announcement of changes at GP surgeries which will help to end the 8am scramble to book an appointment.
Health Minister, Eluned Morgan, announced the measures as part of an agreement to change the current GP contract.
The changes, which are backed by £12m of extra investment from the Welsh Labour Government, will help end the morning scramble to book an appointment. The revised contract will make it clear the practice of releasing appointments daily at 8am is no longer acceptable.
Instead, the new GP access commitment will help ensure people are triaged appropriately and if an appointment is needed, people will receive one which is right for their clinical needs.
Where appropriate, people may be signposted to another service – or healthcare professional – who can help or support them.
The new General Medical Services (GMS) contract deal will also include an uplift to pay for GPs and practice staff and extra funding to increase capacity and staffing to help to respond to winter pressures.
Welcoming the new changes, Rebecca Evans MS said:
“I am very pleased that the Welsh Labour Government has agreed a new contract with GPs which significantly improves the way in which appointments are currently handled.
“These new changes will allow practices to better manage patient needs, and will put an end to the 8am bottleneck where patients have to telephone numerous times in an attempt to secure an appointment.
“I am also glad that the agreed changes also reward all staff working in general practice with a pay rise.”
The £4m of extra funding will be made available to GPs for the next three financial years to ensure the retention of the additional capacity and in support of the commitment made around access to services.