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Tuesday, 5 January 2010

2010 for Consultants in Wales

My Colleague and Chair of the Welsh Consultants Committee Dr Stefan Coghlan (pictured), has considered what 2010 will look like for Consultants in Wales.

"I expect this to be a difficult year for Consultants in Wales as we see the financial belt tightening further.

"With 7 to 10 % Cost Improvement programmes up and running in the new LHBs, the prospect of a further 10% cut in the budget allocation to Wales and demand ever increasing for specialist services, we can expect a tough year or two ahead.

"I have written before about the pressures on Consultants to fill gaps left by EWTD, and there is increasing evidence that poor planning by Trusts (and now LHBs) is leaving consultants to pick up the pieces.

"Is there any good news?

"Well, the Access targets are likely to be relaxed as the NHS simply can not afford to treat all patients within the 26 week timescale. The Minister herself has emphasised the need to treat patients on the basis of clinical priority as determined by Consultants.

"Revalidation may not be embraced quite so willingly by governments with stretched finances and little evidence of the benefit that this additional bureaucracy will bring.

"BMA Cymru Wales is exploring the possibility with partners of a Wales solution to revalidation.

"It may be a year or two before we see the benefits of integrating primary and secondary care, but there remains the real possibility of Consultants being able to lead the delivery of specialist care whether in the acute setting or in the community in partnership with GP colleagues."

Wishing you a happy new year.
Dr Stefan Coghlan
Chairman WCC

Do you agree with Stefan's predictions? Are you a Consultant in Wales? What are your predictions?

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