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  • New tax year changes to pension costs and lost reliefs will affect employers and locums

    New tax year changes to pension costs and lost reliefs will affect employers and locums

    Friday, 13 April 2018 15:02
  • BMA resource advises on how to chase up 'burdensome' late practice payments from PCSE

    BMA resource advises on how to chase up 'burdensome' late practice payments from PCSE

    Friday, 09 March 2018 16:23
  • Government submits its evidence for doctor remuneration

    Government submits its evidence for doctor remuneration

    Wednesday, 31 January 2018 10:38
  • Winter pressures prompts relaxation of QOF requirements in Wales

    Winter pressures prompts relaxation of QOF requirements in Wales

    Tuesday, 09 January 2018 11:53

welsh government logo cb 1January 9 2018

GPs in Wales will be able forego the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) element of the GP contract until the end of March 2018. The decision has been taken “to relieve pressure on GPs” and was announced as part of a package of measures including additional funding of £10 million for the NHS and social care.

“The decision [on QOF] recognises the impact of winter pressures not only on the NHS, but on GPs and the wider Primary Care team across Wales. The action being taken will enable GPs and practice nurses to manage their most vulnerable and chronically sick patients during the winter period,” said the Welsh Government.

Vaughan Gething, the Health Secretary in Wales, commented: “NHS organisations have been planning for this period since the end of last winter, supported by £50 million of funding from us to help them balance urgent and planned care activity.

“Despite this significant investment, what we have seen in the recent days is a system that is under extreme pressure. During this challenging period, I want to provide the NHS in Wales with an extra £10 million of new investment to help front line staff care for our patients through this winter.”

Dr Rebecca Payne, Chair of RCGP Wales, welcomed the relaxation of QOF requirements saying it will mean “GPs spend more time treating patients and less time ticking boxes. Everyone is aware of the challenges the winter months bring. In the last two years QOF has suspended in January and in the future we hope this measure can take place earlier, as soon as winter pressures start to hit.”

She added: “At the start of last month RCGP Wales raised concerns that not enough GPs were being included in winter pressure planning and this needs to change.

“The extra funding is of course welcome. We hope the money is not swallowed up in wider budgets; we urge health boards to allocate specific funding to support general practice and out of hours services which are under enormous strain.”

Dr David Bailey, Chair of the BMA’s Welsh Council, said that BMA Cymru Wales is concerned about the integrity of out of hours across Wales. “Out of hours primary care services are struggling to find staff to cover services. We have been made aware that in some parts of Wales, there has not been a doctor available at all across an entire health board area overnight. Concerns have been raised with the relevant health board.

“GPs are very worried about patient safety and putting themselves in a professionally compromising situation. Every GP does their best but with the current pressures on the system alongside problems recruiting doctors, many GPs are struggling to manage the demand.”

Links:
Welsh Government announcement
RCGP comment                  
BMA Cymru Wales comment       

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