This site is intended for health professionals only

Welsh GPs reject 1.5% uplift in practice funding

Exclusive: GP leaders have rejected a proposed contract deal from the Welsh Government modelled on the deal announced by the Department of Health in England earlier this week.

The Welsh GPC told Pulse they had informed ministers in Wales that there was ‘absolutely no chance’ they would accept the deal that proposes a 1.5% uplift in practice funding in return for a raft of new QOF work, and a move to ‘more equitable’ practice funding.

The Welsh Government has offered the uplift in return for 90 organisational points moving to fund new QOF work, including risk profiling and getting rid of the correction factor in seven years.

The outline of the deal includes:

•       New measures to improve care for patients with long-term chronic conditions

•       Preventing unnecessary emergency admissions to hospital by providing care and support close to home

•       Implementing NICE guidance with regards to hypertension through tighter blood pressure control targets, the prescription of cholesterol-lowering medicines to prevent cardiovascular disease in people diagnosed with hypertension who are at risk of heart attack or stroke, improved support for cancer patients, improved care for patients with rheumatoid arthritis and the assessment of people newly-diagnosed with depression

•       Addressing inequities in funding

Welsh health minister Lesley Griffiths said the increase in investment was fair given the current financial climate and would support ‘improvements to patient services’.

She said: ‘Whilst I appreciate the good work undertaken by GPs in Wales, there is a need to ensure services continually and to accelerate the pace of change within primary care.

‘In these difficult financial times, I believe the uplift is fair and reasonable in return for changes to the contract, to ensure the provision of high quality care for patients.’

But Welsh GPC chair Dr David Bailey said: ‘I have already told the Welsh Governement that there is absolutely no chance that I will negotiate on the basis of their offer which is similar but not identical to England.

‘I have written to Welsh GPs in common with the other three GPC chairs, and we have a meeting to clarify the Welsh Government proposals on Wednesday.’

More to follow