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At the heart of general practice since 1960

'GP recruitment crisis? What crisis?,' asks minister

First minister Carwyn Jones has claimed there is no recruitment crisis in Wales, prompting criticism by GP leaders ahead of this weekend’s LMC conference.

Mr Jones told the Daily Post last week that ‘we have got more doctors and nurses than ever before’, and that salaried GPs are stepping in when partners quit.

But Welsh GPC chair Dr Charlotte Jones said workforce is one of the biggest issues facing Wales ahead of her speech to the Welsh LMCs Conference this weekend.

And the RCGP accused Mr Jones of being ‘in denial’, adding there were not enough GPs coming through.

The first minister said: ‘There will be issues from time to time where a GP decides to stop but that service then is carried on by salaried GP.

‘From our point I don’t think there is a crisis with recruitment, we have got more doctors and nurses than ever.’

But RCGP Wales chair Dr Rebecca Payne dismissed his claims.

She said: ‘A number of practices have recently been taken over by the local health board because GPs have left due to workload and growing patient list sizes. And there simply aren’t enough new GPs coming through to replace those who have left.

‘The first minister seems to be in denial of the situation facing our colleagues in north Wales. GP provision in the north is getting worse, and increasingly patients are bearing the brunt of this.’

The row comes ahead of the annual Welsh LMC conference in Chester this weekend, where GPC Wales chair Dr Charlotte Jones will say in her speech that ’workload, workforce and resources’ are the three most powerful strains affecting general practice.

She will say that more GPs are needed, and that ‘innovative solutions’ are required to discourage GPs from deserting the profession.

She said: ‘In my speech I will be focussing on what needs to be done in three significant areas – workload, workforce and resources. There are positive about the things GPs have achieved, but we also need more momentum and energy.’

Attendees at the LMC conference will debate whether the QOF should be scrapped.

They will also call for the GPC, the Welsh Government to agree on a formal definition of a ‘manageable workload’, and for general practice to be classified as a ‘shortage occupation’ across the UK.

Readers' comments (27)

  • Exactly- its gone beyond crisis into irreversibility.

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  • 6 months of advertising brought forth 2 candidates neither of whom were suitable ( one wasn't GP trained - the other 18 months from retirement ) . So try salaried but sorry no takers . Nurse practitioners - rare and now increasingly expensive but good value if you can find one. Locums are difficult to get because everyone needs them. This is not a crisis it's complete melt down.

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  • We thought a lot of the recruitment problems would be in the south east because of high property prices . However even a lovely corner of south Yorkshire where property is still affordable ( Wales is still cheaper admittedly ) is struggling to find people . I think we have to face the fact that its just a difficult job with decreasing reward and increasing hassle so no one wants to do it.

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  • Agree with above - It isn't just Wales where there " isn't" a recruitment crisis.

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  • Bit by bit the stresses stressors and strains within general practice have increased.
    There is a clear domino affect happening right now. Partners retiring. Partners leaving to do locum work. Partners leaving profession. Partners leaving country.
    There is absolutely no way a locum or a salaried doc equates to a partner in terms of work commitments.
    Every practice locally .... 20 separate practices have partner vacancies.
    I have joined the leavers this week. I am looking after myself. This job is making us unwell

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  • he is not wrong - the current contract offer has been welcomed by the GPC, primary care is seeing more contacts for less funding, patient satisfaction is still high, trust in GPs is still high, and we are moving soon to provide more access with 7 day 12 hr access. Practices are evolving into large units and innovation is rife. all is well and there is no crisis. there is a lot of moaning but no evidence of any crisis.

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  • @|Anonymous | GP Partner|26 Feb 2016 2:01pm

    'There is absolutely no way a locum or a salaried doc equates to a partner in terms of work commitments.'

    That's because partners take on a silly amount of work that should be illegal.

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  • Bob Hodges

    A politicians wonder why only 16% of the population trust MPs compared with 88% who trust GPs.

    To be honest, I'm surprised that as many as one person in eleven fall for their gobshitery.

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  • Minister? What minister?
    Never heard of her

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  • Wales? Never heard of it.

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