The health service in Wales will receive an extra £40million in funding to help it cope with winter pressures that have seen the GP out-of-hours service experience the busiest festive period since they were established.
The extra funding, drawn from government reserves, is ‘equivalent’ to the extra £700m allocated to NHS England for winter pressures, and is in addition to £200m already allocated to the Welsh NHS for 2014/15.
A statement from the Welsh Government said that this was in part because ‘GP out-of-hour services experienced their busiest festive period since they were established’ in 2004.
Welsh finance minister Jane Hutt said: ‘The additional £40m I’m announcing today means that in 2014-15, the Welsh NHS will have received nearly a quarter of a billion pounds in extra investment to deliver high-quality, sustainable health services.’
Welcoming the additional investment, Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford said: ‘This additional investment in our health service will help our NHS deal with the significant pressures the service is facing – pressures that are being experienced across the UK as a result of increased demand from an influx of sick patients.
‘Winter is a very busy period for our health, social care and social services – but our urgent and emergency care services, in particular, are seeing significant extra demand on their services.’