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Support package available for Welsh practices on brink of closure

7 September 2015

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GP practices who fear they will be forced to close or cut services within a year will be offered a new support package, including funding and temporary staff.

The Welsh Government will be writing to practices with more details on how to access help, which includes extra funding and secondment of staff to at-risk practices to help relieve workload pressure.

Any practice that considers itself vulnerable to risk of closure within 12 months or has to cut services to patients can apply for the assistance at their local health board, as part of an agreement between the British Medical Association (BMA) Cymru Wales, the Welsh Government and health boards.

Within six weeks, a local assessment panel will decide whether a practice can be helped.

BMA Wales GPs committee chair Charlotte Jones said she was delighted with the framework to assess such practices, which is part of a sustainability programme in the 2015/17 GP contract.

Jones said: “It is vital that access to and the continuity of services are secured for patients across Wales, and it is important to recognise that rural and deprived urban communities face unique challenges.

“The new framework will ensure that practices that are vulnerable to the risk of closure will get proper support in a timely manner and we hope that it will provide reassurance to such practices moving forward,” she added.