Presentation of a petition calling for increased funding for general practice in Wales

Published 24/09/2014   |   Last Updated 09/06/2015

The National Assembly for Wales's Petitions Committee was officially presented with a petition yesterday calling for an increase in the share of the NHS budget spent on general practice in Wales.

The Committee received the petition from Dr Paul Myers, Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners Wales, on the steps of the Senedd in Cardiff Bay at 13.00 on Tuesday 23 September.

The petition has collected 15,000 paper signatures and over 500 electronic signatures collected on an e-petition website.

The exact wording of the petition is as follows:

Despite carrying out 90 per cent of all NHS patient contacts, general practice only receives 8.39 per cent of the NHS budget in the UK — an historic low. By 2017, this is projected to plunge to just 7.29 per cent.

As a result, general practice is facing a growing crisis.

Due to the sheer volume of GP workloads, in this year alone, patients will have to wait longer than a week to see their GP on at least 27m occasions.

And, according to a poll carried out in March, more than three fifths of the public now believe that the number of patient consultations carried out by GPs — up to 60 per day — is threatening the level of patient care.

To protect high quality services for all patients, I call on the First Minister to increase the share of the NHS budget spent on general practice in Wales to 11 per cent by 2017.

This shift in funding would enable general practice to deliver:

  • Shorter waiting times for appointments and more flexible opening hours;
  • longer consultations, especially for people with long term conditions;
  • more opportunity for patients to see a GP who knows them;
  • better care co-ordination and planning, especially for the elderly and those with complex needs;
  • positive benefits for the NHS as a whole, reducing pressure on hospitals.

GP surgeries sit at the heart of local communities. I demand that the Welsh Government acts now to ensure practices have the resources they need to continue to provide the high quality care patients deserve.