- Posted by: Mike Hedges MS
- Categories: Assembly Questions, Latest News
MIKE HEDGES MS ASKS FIRST MINISTER FOR ASSURANCES ALL GP SURGERIES WILL MEET THE CURRENT MEDIAN PERFORMANCE.
Speaking after First Ministers Questions, local Swansea East MS Mike Hedges said… ‘while many fantastic GP surgeries exist within my Constituency, my post bag is jammed with complaints and concerns regarding access to GP’s at one practice in particular. I am pleased therefore that the new GP contracts will go a long way to ensuring that the standards are enforceable which is difficult under the current arrangements.
My constituents will be very pleased to know that the powers to enforce contractual obligations will be strengthened.’
There are huge variabilities between surgeries’ access. There are some excellent surgeries in my constituency, including Clydach and Strawberry Place, neither of which is my surgery. Over 90 per cent of my constituency complaints regarding GP surgeries’ access is about one surgery. When people are unable to see a GP, they either go to A&E or wait until their condition deteriorates and are then forced to go to A&E. What can the Welsh Government do to ensure that at least the current median performance is achieved by all GP practices?15
First Minister of Wales
I thank Mike Hedges for that question, Llywydd. He draws attention to one of the fundamental facts of primary care, which is that GPs are independent contractors. They have a contract with the board, and they are not directly managed by the Welsh Government or the local health service. However, the good news for constituents of Mike Hedges is that, because of the successful conclusion of the negotiations for next year’s contract, then the access standards move from being one of those things that GPs can sign up to, to one of the things that they have to deliver. It is now a fundamental part of the new contract, and that will mean, I believe, that that minority of practices—. Remember, 89 per cent of practices achieve those standards already, and that’s an improvement from 65 per cent, Llywydd, in March of 2020, so the great thrust of primary care in Wales has been in the right direction, thanks to enormous efforts of staff. That small minority—that 10 per cent—that’s left to achieve those standards, those things will now be easier to enforce because the contract itself will require them to be achieved.16