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Welsh RCGP to lobby for more use of pharmacists and nurses

The RCGP will lobby candidates in the forthcoming Welsh Assembly elections to adopt policies to pass more of GPs’ workload to other professionals such as pharmacists and nurses and to increase funding for general practice.

RCGP Wales chair Dr Paul Myers said the College has begun planning its manifesto for the months of campaigning that will lead up to the elections next May.

The RCGP wants general practice to receive a boost in funding up from the current level of 7.85% to 11% of the health budget.  Dr Myers also argues that up to 40% of GP work traditionally done by GPs could be done by health workers such as nurses, pharmacists or physician assistants.

He said: ‘Some people think that giving GPs’ task to other professionals is devaluing the GP role, but it’s the opposite, because it recognises the unique work that only GPs can do.  The sorts of things that could be given to other health workers are routine health monitoring, follow-ups on patients with uncomplicated chronic diseases, and organising tests and investigations.

‘We strongly believe in expanding what we call the general practice family. If we do that then we can focus on the sorts of things that we do well – listening to patients, and making sense of a whole range of information.’