GP pay deal agreed as reforms progress

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GPs in Wales will get 1% more pay and additional help to cover the rising cost of insurance for the next year.

As well as the pay rise agreed with the Welsh Government, there will be a 1.4% increase for general expenses

But as part of a new deal negotiated with doctors' leaders, GPs will be expected to do more in terms of mentoring and Welsh language provision.

The year-long deal comes as the Welsh Government and GPs discuss far-reaching changes in future contracts.

The agreement this year also includes workload and system changes to improve how GPs work with hospitals.

It again includes more money to help pay for the personal insurance GPs need to practice - which is becoming more expensive.

Health Secretary Vaughan Gething said: "While progress has been made with a number of items, there is still a substantive body of work to undertake for the forthcoming year."

But he said the new approach provided a "platform to reform the existing contract" and tackle issues within the system.

Dr Charlotte Jones, chair of the BMA's Welsh GP committee, said the agreement would provides "much needed financial stability" for practices.

"The reductions in bureaucracy and workload will also provide some much needed respite for practices and clusters facing unprecedented demands," she said.

"I am confident that these significant improvements to the contract will deliver real benefits to GPs across Wales."

Conservative health spokeswoman Angela Burns AM said there was "still a lack of clarity over the progress, if any, on the issues of GP indemnity costs, which prevent GPs from doing extra hours or locum work".

She also said it was not clear from Mr Gething's statement how frontline services would be improved and how it would affect access to out-of-hours care.

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