'400 more GPs' call in doctors' election wish list

Self-checking in for a GP appointment Image copyright Science Photo Library

A doctors' body is calling for 400 extra GPs by 2020 as its manifesto is launched ahead of assembly elections.

The Royal College of GPs Wales also warned politicians not to use the NHS for political gain in the run up to next May's vote.

It has highlighted six areas it wants to see addressed "if general practice is to continue to survive... and provide a high level of service".

The college is unveiling its manifesto at the Senedd.

Its key points include:

  • employing 400 more GPs by 2020 to provide good access to care
  • increasing investment from 7.9% to 11% of total Wales NHS budget by 2017
  • using GPs as leaders in integrated person-centred patient care, including investing in training primary care nurses
  • establishing an occupational health service in GP surgeries
  • support surgeries under threat of closure, including an early identification system
  • improving infrastructure to ensure practices are fit for purpose.

Chairwoman Dr Rebecca Payne said: "Every day GPs and practice teams work hard to make a difference to patients' lives.

"It's vital that their contribution is recognised and appreciated by politicians from all parties.

"We need robust commitments from all political parties to secure a sustainable, effective, patient-centred health service and to protect the NHS for the future."

She said the general practice "family" needed to be expanded so other medical staff, including practice nurses and pharmacists, could help "alleviate the intense pressure we are under".

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