77% of GPs believe that the Labour Government’s headline policy to improve patient access to GPs has failed, a new survey published today has revealed.
In November, Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, wrote to over 650 GP surgeries in Wales asking their views; 21% of GP surgeries responded.
The findings of the survey highlight a worrying disillusionment within the GP sector in Wales. Comments include: “I wouldn’t encourage my children into the profession” and “I currently stay because I have to. I would leave tomorrow if circumstances allowed it.”
· 97% believe more needs to be done to promote general practice as a profession;
· 69% support the Welsh Liberal Democrats’ proposals for an ‘Access to GPs’ scheme;
· 69% are against the Conservative and UKIP policy of introducing directly elected health commissioners;
· 66% are against the Plaid Cymru policy of scrapping health boards and placing major hospitals under one body;
· 45% said they would benefit from better mental health training
Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, said:
“Labour have completely failed to deliver on their key 2011 election pledge to improve access to GPs.
“The Welsh Liberal Democrats will guarantee the best treatment at the right time to meet every patient’s needs. I’m pleased the profession supports our proposals for a fully funded Access to GPs scheme, which would allow surgeries to bid for funding to improve patient access to their GP.
“This survey is absolutely damning of other parties’ policies. The health profession are clear that our NHS needs less politics, not more. This is why so many were willing to condemn the Tory policy of directly elected health commissioners. My party will continue to call for an independent NHS commission so our health service will stop being treated like a political football.
“The NHS needs another reorganisation like it needs a hole in the head, yet still Plaid are willing to drag money from the front line to fund this policy. Our survey shows that GPs are in agreement that this is a terrible idea and bad for patients.
“It is significant that 45% of GPs said they would benefit from better mental health training. That is an extremely high number of people wanting extra help in their role of supporting people. The Welsh Liberal Democrats would deliver improved mental health training for health professionals so that they would be fully equipped to support patients with complex mental health needs.
“After 17 years in office, the Labour government still fails to get the basics right on our public services. Our plans put patients’ views front and centre so that we will deliver a NHS that works for you.”
The full report can be read below, or found by clicking here.