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Monday, 4 January 2010

Welsh General Practice in 2010

Happy New Year to members and regular readers.

My colleague and Chair of the Welsh GP Committee Dr David Bailey (pictured), looks at the year ahead for GPs in Wales.

"The financial downturn will limit innovation in practice and certainly new premises development and we will need to concentrate on maintaining and improving existing services.

"Whilst I’m conscious of the difficulties greater morbidity and deprivation brings to Welsh practices, one quick win would be organisational change to improve access. Many practices still use the “advanced access” templates which don’t deliver what patients need because of artificial phone barriers. A reasonable window to make quick appointments and keeping principle premises open throughout core hours would address many patient complaints at a stroke and should be our aim.

"The advent of new Health boards brings the potential for improving working relationships and new innovative services. It is to be hoped that this opportunity won’t be thrown away by them failing to engage GPs in designing service change and drowning us in unnecessary bureaucracy – time will tell.

"We can but hope that Doctors and Dentists Review Body does not listen to those in government who do not recognise the fantastic value we still provide.

"Through it all as usual General Practice will continue to be the one constant in patient’s experience of the NHS and the jewel in it’s crown."

Happy New Year!


Do you agree with David's predictions for the year ahead? Tell us what you predict.


  1. what is the reasonable window referred to?

  2. Generally practices should aim to take calls for same day appointments until at least 10.30 or 11 and obviously advance booking should be throughout the day as should genuine emergency appointments. Practices may vary and this shouldn't be looked at as prescriptive but certainly a half hour booking slot seems unreasonable and appointments for the future should be taken throughout the day. Some practices may wish to reopen same day slots in the afternoon - it is not for BMA to dictate exactly how it should be done, merely that it should look fair and reasonable to the practice's patients.


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