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Fears calmed on quality pay gap

Hospital managers in Wales are blaming GP out-of-hours services for backlogs in A&E departments.

One hospital said a queue of 10 ambulances outside its casualty department last week had been caused by too many patients being referred by out-of-hours services.

Russell Hopkins, chair of Bro-Morgannwg NHS Trust, said hospitals in Wales had 'major anxiety about capacity problems'.

He added: 'It is exacerbated by an increase in the number of patients coming to A&E since the introduction of the new GP contract.'

Mr Hopkins said new out-of-hours systems set up by local health boards were not satisfactory and hospitals were collecting evidence to present to the Welsh Assembly.

Dr Ian Millington, Morgannwg LMC secretary, said blaming GPs was 'simplistic'. He said a change in patient expectations in the past year had contributed to the problems.

He added: 'There is a capacity problem. We have problems admitting patients in-hours as well as out-of-hours.'

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