A new set of standards, which will raise and improve the level of service for patients in Wales from their GP practices, have been launched by Health Minister, Vaughan Gething.
The recent National Survey results showed a decline in satisfaction with GP services, from 90 per cent being satisfied in 2016-to-2017, to 86 per cent in 2017-to-2018, and 42 per cent of participants found it difficult to make an appointment at their practice; an increase from 38 per cent in the previous year.
People in Wales should know what to expect when they need advice on their health and wellbeing, when they need to consult a GP or other healthcare professional, and what other options are available to them.
To support this, the new standards announced are as follows:
- People receive a prompt response to their contact with a GP practice via telephone
- Practices have the appropriate telephone systems in place to support the needs of people, avoiding the need to call back multiple times and will check that they are handling calls in this way
- People receive bilingual information on local and emergency services when contacting a practice
- People are able to access information on how to get help and advice
- People receive the right care at the right time in a joined-up way which is based on their needs
- People can use a range of options to contact their GP practice
- People are able to email a practice to request a non-urgent consultation or a call back
The Welsh government expects all GP practices in Wales, supported by their local health boards, to meet these standards by March 2021. Financial support, which will be announced in due course, will be made available to GP practices to strive towards meeting these standards and ensuring that patients across Wales know what to expect from their practice.