Improve access to GPs

Dydd Mercher, 17 Mai, 2017

Following the publication of a report identifying the significant problems patients across Wales are facing in accessing GP appointments, Clwyd West AM Darren Millar has called for a Welsh Government Statement on the matter.

The National Pensioners Convention Wales report identified a number of issues regarding the various systems used by GP surgeries across Wales.  

Respondents felt that it often takes too long to get an appointment, with the most extreme example cited being five weeks between calling the surgery and attending an appointment.

Some surgeries require patients to call in the morning to book an appointment on the same day. Concern was raised that patients are often unable to make an appointment on the same day that they call, as the phone line is often so busy, all appointments are booked before 9am.

More flexible systems were praised, giving patients the option to book an appointment for routine matters or to call in and wait on the day for more urgent issues.

Concerned by the findings, Darren called for a Welsh Government Statement on access to GPs in this week’s Business Statement in the Senedd.

He said:

“The National Pensioners Convention Wales produced a report recently on access to GP services in Wales, and it found that there were significant problems with accessing some appointments in some surgeries. And that was largely due to the inconsistency around appointment arrangements.

“It reported that, while some surgeries were offering same-day appointments only, others were allowing people to book in advance, and offering a more flexible approach, which seemed to provide a much better patient experience. These concerns are also echoed by my own constituents. It’s about time that we had a statement on GP access and what the Welsh Government is doing to improve it.”