Practices in Wales are set to get a new computerised system that will measure their workload, it has been announced.
GP leaders believe the IT system will support their claims of growing pressure on practices.
It is also likely to demonstrate the value of the general medical services contract, Dr Charlotte Jones, chair of the British Medical Association’s Welsh GP committee told a conference yesterday.
Wales finally got a new government this week after a deal between Labour and other political parties.
Dr Jones said she welcomed the new government’s announcement that it intends to increase the country’s number of GPs and primary health care workers.
But she said practices needed daily access to clinical pharmacists – and she called for practice and community nursing teams to be strengthened.
Speaking to the conference of local medical committees in London, she warned: “The stark reality of the situation is that patient demand is outstripping supply. The ageing population, growth in chronic disease and greater complexity of care have combined to place an unsustainable strain on general practice.
“We are seeing a generation of GPs retiring, and practices are desperately struggling to recruit, especially in areas of greatest need.”
Dr Jones criticised the country’s growing number of managed practices as “expensive” and called for cluster networks of practices to be given “real” decision making power and delegated budgets.
She added: “GPC Wales has been calling for an innovative IT solution to measure workload within a practice and, despite some challenges, a programme is on the cusp of being rolled out. This should provide direct evidence to Welsh Government and Health Boards of the volume of care provided by GPs.”