We bring you the latest news from the healthcare about the health care in the United Kingdom.

maandag 30 april 2018

RCGP: Welsh GP workforce lowest in decade: urgent action needed to tackle the shortage

Welsh GP workforce lowest in decade: urgent action needed to tackle the shortage

The number of GPs in Wales (excluding locums, retainers and registrars) is the lowest it has been since 2006/07. Between 2016 and 2017 the number fell from 2,009 to 1,926, a drop of 83 GPs or 4.1%.

RCGP Wales has been warning for several years that the GP workforce is at tipping point.

The fall in the number of GPs come at a time when demand for general practice continues to rise and the population of Wales continues to grow.

As a result, general practice services are coming under strain and this is having an impact on GPs' ability to deliver the quality of care that patients need and deserve.

Dr Rebecca Payne, RCGP Chair Wales, said:

"The news that workforce numbers have fallen is very disappointing for GPs and for patients.

"Workforce shortages are already being felt across Wales, there are fewer GPs to cope with rising demand and patients are having to wait longer to see their GP.

"The situation is not sustainable. General practice can be a rewarding and fulfilling profession but the workforce is increasingly stretched for some GPs the pressure is becoming too much.

"It is imperative that the Welsh Government takes urgent action to boost the GP workforce and expand the number of other healthcare professionals working in general practice."

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New research on the impact of climate change on health a 'stark warning', says RCGP
"Whilst we have been aware of this risk for some time, this latest research serves as a stark warning about the trajectory of the challenges if we don't act now. Perhaps most shocking is the estimated 50 million predicted years of life lost across Great Britain between 2011 and 2154 if certain factors don't improve. 
 
"As GPs, we are already seeing more patients presenting with conditions that could be related to pollution, or illnesses exacerbated by poor air quality, particularly in vulnerable members of our communities. 
 
"In the long-term, air pollution will almost certainly have a damaging effect on lung capacity in children, and contribute to potentially life-threatening conditions such as cancer and coronary artery disease. 
 
"This study shows that an 80% cut in greenhouse gases will dramatically reduce air pollution. So, from a health perspective, it would certainly make sense to take urgent measures achieve this. 
 
"What is good for the planet is usually good for our patients' health, and the NHS as a whole."
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Statement on the National Health and Social Care Workforce Plan Part 3 – Improving workforce planning for primary care in Scotland

"Any targets must be underpinned by a robust plan to deliver them and as more data is gathered about the work carried out in primary care, especially by our hard-pressed GPs, planners will need to be able to adopt a flexible approach to the delivery and resourcing of local services. This should be based on local need, as a one-size-fits-all approach is unlikely to meet the needs of our patients.

"GPs have always worked as part of a team, and we look forward to working with our clinical colleagues across the primary care professions to expand and strengthen these teams further, but we must not lose sight of the need to urgently expand our GP workforce alongside that. Our expert medical generalist skills allow us to provide realistic medicine that looks after the whole person, and our 'gatekeeper' role to secondary care is vital to the cost-effectiveness of the overall NHS.

"We look forward to analysing the plan in more detail and will continue to work constructively with Scottish Government and other key partners to explore all possible ways of growing and supporting our generalist workforce, through increased recruitment into the profession and better retention of those already working as GPs. This remains our number one priority."

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