The BMA Cymru Wales campaign ‘Save Our Surgeries’ calls on decision makers to commit to a rescue package to support GPs in Wales and their patients.
Dispensing practices comprise 17 per cent of all Welsh GPs.
The campaign calls for urgent action in four areas:
- Restore the proportion of the NHS Wales budget spent in general practice to the historic level of 8.7 per cent within three years, increasing to nearer 11 per cent in the next five years.
- Implement a national standard for a maximum number of patients per GP
- Produce a workforce strategy to achieve the OECD average number of GPs per 1000 people
- Develop a long-term strategy to improve the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of the workforce.
The report notes the following ten year trends
- The number of patients registered at GP practices in Wales has increased by 93,317 (2.9 per cent)
- The number of practices has decreased from 470 to 386 (18 per cent)
- The equivalent number of full-time GPs has decreased by 456 (21.7 per cent)
- The average practice list size has increased to 8378 patients (23.5 per cent)
- The number of patients looked after per FTE GP has risen from 1675 to 2210 (32 per cent).
The campaign also notes the rising costs of service delivery, in particular staff costs (+10-16 per cent) and energy costs (up to 41.2 per cent). It warns that practices are considering cost containment measures such as stopping recruitment and reducing staff hours.