2 October 2017

Leading GP Says Budget is Missed Opportunity for Patient Care

The Royal College of General Practitioners has described the budget agreed by Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru as a missed opportunity for patient care.

The budget, announced on Sunday, includes a deal which will provide £210m in extra funding for a range of services over the next two years. 

Responding to the budget, RCGP Wales Chair, Dr Rebecca Payne, said: "This budget is a missed opportunity. I am deeply disappointed that the Government have not grasped the opportunity to improve patient care by investing in general practice.

"The Government know that health and social care services have to change to meet the needs of our population. This means that care will move away from hospitals and will instead be delivered within the community, closer to people's homes.

"This is the right approach to take but it will not be possible without substantial investment to strengthen general practice to ensure that all patients receive high quality, timely care.

"We need the Welsh Government to back up words with action and invest 11% of the NHS budget in general practice.

"General practice is facing a workforce crisis. In 2016, almost one quarter of GPs (22.2%)  were aged 55 or over, meaning that they are likely to retire within the next decade. This will have massive consequences for patient care as many will find that they need to wait longer to see their family doctor. When we combine this with the aging population living with more complex health needs the spending plans simply don’t address the challenge this brings.

"To help solve the GP workforce crisis, we need to expand the GP workforce by 485 GPs by 2021. Last year, we outlined steps to be taken to deliver this, including boosting the numbers of GP training places to 200 a year and doing more to encourage GPs to stay in the profession for longer.

"GPs up and down the country are getting increasingly frustrated by the lack of concrete progress or commitments from Welsh Government. RCGP Wales hopes that the Welsh Government will listen to our concerns and make sure that for the sake of patients, general practice is not forgotten."

Further Information

Ashleigh Simpson
RCGP Devolved Councils Campaigns Officer
0203 188 7725 or 0203 188 7722


The Royal College of GPs Wales represents a network of around 2,000 GPs, aiming to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on resources, education, training, research and clinical standards.