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Calls for Government to match GP funding to hospital investment

GP leaders have called on the Government to ensure investment in primary care matches new resource being invested in hospitals.

It comes after Welsh health secretary Vaughan Gething announced £350m for a state of the art ‘super hospital’ in Gwent.

Now expected to open in 2021, there had been concerns over delays to the proposed funding for the Specialist and Critical Care Centre, but Mr Gething gave the green light releasing capital funding from 2016/17 to 2021/22.

Dr Charlotte Jones, Wales GPC chair said she had noted the announcement with interest and said she hoped similar resources would be found for GP practices.

‘Whilst the expenditure on new developments in the secondary sector is outside the remit of the committee, GPC Wales hopes that a similar amount of expenditure will be found to address the urgent need for more funding that is needed both directly into GMS practices, and also into the wider primary care arena, to support GP practice teams in providing and delivering high-quality care for patients,’ she said.

Dr Jones, who is currently negotiating a new contract for GPs in Wales said it was ‘well established’ that primary care has key role in integrating health and social are and preventing people going into hospital in the first place.

‘However, in order to make this key government priority sustainable, the necessary resources need to be urgently deployed in primary and community care,’ she said.

‘We hope to hear a similar announcement of additional new funding for primary care too.’

Wales RCGP chair Dr Rebecca Payne also reacted to the announcement of the Gwent hospital funding on Twitter, pointing out that £350m in primary care estate ‘would utterly transform care’.

She added that among GPs there was frustration that there is ‘lots of verbal support for general practice but when it comes to spending decisions other things prioritised’.