A new set of standards aiming to raise and improve the level of service patients receive from their GP practices, has been announced.
It comes off the back of a recent survey which found that 42 per cent of participants had found it difficult to make an appointment at their local practice – an increase from 38 per cent on the previous year.
The National Survey also found there had been a decline in satisfaction with GP services from 90 per cent in 2016-17 to 86 per cent in 2017-18.
In a bid to ensure standards are consistent for patients across Wales, Health Minister Vaughan Gething has today announced a series of measures that all practices will need to meet by 2021.
Whilst it is acknowledged that many patients already are satisfied with their GP practices, it is hoped that the new standards will create consistency across Wales.
The new standards announced today include:
– People receive a prompt response to their contact with a GP practice via telephone.
– Practices have the appropriate telephony systems in place to support the needs of people avoiding the need to call back multiple times and will check that they are handling calls in this way.
– People receive bilingual information on local and emergency services when contacting a practice.
– People are able to access information on how to get help and advice.
– People receive the right care at the right time in a joined up way which is based on their needs.
– People can use a range of options to contact their GP practice.
– People are able to email a practice to request a non-urgent consultation or a call back.
Financial support, which will be announced in due course, will be made available to GP practices to strive towards meeting these standards and ensuring patients across Wales know what to expect from their practice.
Mr Gething said: “I know GPs and their practice teams are under pressure to meet demand but I also know people’s expectations on GP access are not currently being met.
“Today’s announcement is not about putting additional pressure on our GP services, it is about them delivering a level of service patients in Wales should expect as a minimum.
“For many practices across Wales, the standards I’ve announced today will already be in place, but for others this will be a journey of improvement.
“Over time I would like to see these standards developed further so that services are continually improving for the citizens of Wales.”
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