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Contract Reform for GPs in Wales

HEALTH Minister, Eluned Morgan, has announced a new contract agreementwith GPs in Wales, which will deliver the most significant reform of thecontract since 2004.It includes a new pay deal for all staff working in general practice andplans to reduce the administrative burden for GPs, enabling them tofocus on providing high-quality care in contract arrangements from 2023.Recognising the vital role of GPs and their teams, the agreement forthis year includes a 4.5% pay uplift for GPs as recommended by theDoctors and Dentist Review Body, and goes further to ensure all staffworking within general practice also receive the same 4.5% pay uplift. From April 2023, access standards, which practices have been workingtowards since 2019, will become mandatory to achieve and maintain aspart of the GMS contract. This will help make it easier for people toaccess GP appointments across Wales and they will know what to expectwhen they contact their GP practice.The new  Unified Contract, will be consulted on in spring 2023 andimplemented from autumn 2023. This will streamline and simplify currentarrangements to ensure GPs and their teams are able to focus ondelivering services to patients.Welsh Government, GPC Wales and NHS Wales have committed to undertakefurther joint work, to pursue further changes and improvements in anumber of key areas including the sustainability of the workforce andthe service.Health Minister Eluned Morgan said: “GPs and their staff have workedtirelessly in the face of ongoing pressure, to meet the needs of theirpatients. They have remained agile and responsive in these challengingtimes, and this agreement and investment acknowledges that commitment todelivering services to patients.“We recognise that more still needs to be done to improve access to GPsurgeries and this new contract will go some way in addressing that.However, there have continued to be challenges faced by some people inaccessing their GP practice which need to be resolved and we will ensurewe continue to pursue improvement.“As we move forward, a new simplified and streamlined contract willnot only remove unnecessary bureaucracy for GPs and their teams but willalso reinforce the standards by which we expect GP practices to operate– with patient access an integral part of those standards.“In April next year, I will set out more detail on how this newcontract will work.”Nicola Prygodzicz, Chief Executive, Aneurin Bevan Health Board said:“We are pleased to see this agreement, reached through a collaborativeround of tripartite negotiations, which recognises the hard work anddedication of all staff working within general practice.  The scale of change being sought is ambitious and is testament to thecommitment of all parties to reduce bureaucracy and improve services forpeople in Wales. The wider agreements, including the joint commitmentsto take forward work in key areas, will enable us to continue to workclosely with the profession and our stakeholders to support thesustainability of the service in the longer term.”Dr Gareth Oelmann, Chair of GPC Wales said:“This contractual agreement is firmly rooted in providing patientswith access to services based on clinical need, with an increasedemphasis on preventative health measures.  “We have fought hard to ensure the best deal possible for GPpractices in Wales in the current climate. The restructured contractualpayment mechanisms, whilst providing simplification and decreased boxticking bureaucracy, will create security of income streams forpractices, at a time when the viability of many has been brought intoquestion.“We are additionally pleased that as a consequence of this deal, ourhard-working practice staff are able to receive a pay uplift.“We look forward to delivering further change and improvements for GPsand patients in Wales in 2023.”


Pic . SolStock

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