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Patient safety threat eased by EU U-turn

Small practices in Wales claim they are being 'discriminated' against after a local health board revealed it would only fund premises developments housing five GPs or more.

A strategy document released by Cardiff local health board said it is looking to 'consolidate practices' across the city.

Dr Om Aggarwal, a GP in Cardiff, said: 'This is blatant discrimination against small practices. Singlehanders don't stand a chance.'

Dr Andrew Dearden, chair of BMA Wales, said the plans showed the 'stupidity' of the health board. He said: 'We're trying to provide more services closer to patients. How can you move services closer if you move the doctor further away?'

Dr Michael Taylor, chair of the Small Practices Association and a GP in Heywood, Lancashire, said the health board was being 'myopic and short-termist'.

GPs are also angry that refurbishment projects have been delayed because of a hold-up in developing the strategy.

Dr Greg Graham, a GP in Cwmbran, Gwent, said: 'While they are pondering we're sitting in our practices that need refurbishment.'

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