Posted: Tue 5th Apr 2016

£43m To Improve Wales’ Primary Care Services

This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Apr 5th, 2016

£43m will be invested over the next year to improve access to primary care and continue to move more services out of hospitals and into local communities, Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford today announced. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Primary care services are the first point of contact for the majority of people in Wales – as much as 90% of patient care in the Welsh NHS is provided by primary care services in local communities. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The Welsh Government’s primary care plan, which was published in 2014, sets out a vision for enhancing primary care services across Wales so the more care is planned and provided in the community, closer to people’s homes. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The Welsh Government’s £43m primary care fund for 2016-17 will make £26m available to health boards to help implement their local plans. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

£10m is being made available directly Wales’ 64 primary care clusters – groups of GPs, working with other healthcare professionals, including pharmacists, dentists, optometrists, therapists, nurses social workers, third sector workers and others to plan and provide services for their local communities. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

This investment – which builds on the £6m which was allocated directly to clusters last year – will allow clusters to develop further, building on the work already achieved to bring together skilled, multi-disciplinary teams of professionals to deliver care in or close to people’s homes, freeing up GPs’ time and expertise to care for people with more complex needs. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Professor Drakeford said: ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Our vision for primary care is for more services to be delivered in local communities, closer to people’s homes, with care being delivered by a range of skilled healthcare professionals working together as a team. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“The £43m primary care fund for 2016-17 builds on the significant multi-million pound investment we have made in recent years. It will focus on service sustainability, improving access and to moving more services out of hospitals into primary care. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“I am particularly pleased to be able to make £10m – an extra £4m this year – which will be allocated directly to Wales’ 64 primary care clusters, to support their development and boost local primary care services.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Additional allocations include: ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

  • £3.8m in 2016-17 for a national programme of projects which look at new and innovative ways of planning, organising and delivering the wide range of services which make up primary care
  • £720,000 a year to support joint work in Aneurin Bevan and Cwm Taf university health boards to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in communities where people are at an increased risk
  • £500,000 a year for the expansion of the academic fellows’ scheme, which allows doctors with an interest in academic research to combine their medical duties with time in a university research environment
  • £428,000 for Aneurin Bevan, Cwm Taf, Hywel Dda and Powys health boards for their pathfinder schemes to treat wet age-related macular degeneration in local communities, outside hospital settings.

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