The BMA’s Welsh GP Committee (GPC Wales) has agreed changes to the GP contract for 2021/22 with Welsh Government and NHS Wales.
Announced on 1 December 2021, the changes include:
- A 3% pay uplift for GPs and all practice staff
- Continued investment for the implementation of the ‘Access to In-hours GP Services’
- Commitment to improve access to and from primary care
- In-year funding to alleviate winter pressures
- Data Legislative reform to de-risk General Practice
- Protected Learning Time and funding of Care Navigation Training
Dr Phil White, Chair of GPC Wales, said:
“We are pleased that our collaborative working relationship with Welsh Government and NHS Wales has resulted in a contractual agreement which we hope will go some way to support practices under great duress.
“The contractual arrangements in place for 2021/22 will see GPs and their staff rewarded for their extraordinary efforts during a time of unprecedented demands. The investment will enable the DDRB’s recommendation of a 3% uplift for GPs and their staff to be met.
“Whilst we are of course pleased that hard working practice staff are finally able to receive their pay uplift, we have stated clearly throughout our negotiations that linking the pay award to contractual change is inappropriate.
“The investment in capacity will go some way to alleviating current pressures and is a welcome acknowledgement of the deficit GPs face in manpower to deliver the services they would wish to.
“There are also welcome commitments which will ensure practices have the breathing space to develop and train their teams to better recognise patient needs. GPs are committed to providing the best possible patient experience and want to support staff to be able to deliver high quality services for patients.
“We welcome Welsh Government’s commitment to step-up public messaging around the blended model of access. GPs and their teams want to provide the very best access they can for patients – often working way beyond their contracts to do so – but it is crucial that patients understand the pressures facing the profession and what the existing workforce can realistically deliver.
“Put simply, there are not enough GPs working in primary care to manage current levels of demand. What this means, is that patients will be signposted to alternative services if they are deemed more appropriate and may have to wait to see their GP when they need to.
“We believe that the Welsh Government understand the existential challenge GP practices face, and we are committed to continuing to work together to ensure that patients can access a better resourced General Practice service in the future.”