This site is intended for health professionals only

GP access improves in Wales, official figures reveal

Access to GP services in Wales has continued to improve as official figures reveal the 97% of practices now offer appointments during the early evening hours of 5.00pm to 6.30pm, up from 95% in 2013.

The latest Welsh Government report on GP access also shows an increase in the percentage of practices open within core hours or within one hour of core times, to 80% in 2014 from 76% in 2013,

There has also been a reduction in the number of practices closing for half day training once a week from 11% to 6% in 2014.

However there are concerns that just 44% of surgeries were open during all core hours, as many closed for an hour at lunch, and that the number of practices offering appointments after 6.30pm had dropped to 7% in 2014

Welsh health minister Professor Drakeford said: ‘It is clear that GP surgeries across Wales are working hard to take steps to extend opening hours beyond 5pm and to avoid closing for half a day a week and they are making more appointments available to everyone.

‘But further improvements can be made. In particular, where there is an assessed need for working people to see a GP during working hours, we are working with GPC Wales – the group which represents GPs in Wales – and health boards to encourage ways in which access can be improved.’