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Welsh GP workforce lowest in decade: urgent action needed to tackle the shortage

The number of GPs in Wales (excluding locums, retainers and registrars) is the lowest it has been since 2006/07. Between 2016 and 2017 the number fell from 2,009 to 1,926, a drop of 83 GPs or 4.1%.

RCGP Wales has been warning for several years that the GP workforce is at tipping point.

The fall in the number of GPs come at a time when demand for general practice continues to rise and the population of Wales continues to grow.

As a result, general practice services are coming under strain and this is having an impact on GPs' ability to deliver the quality of care that patients need and deserve.

Dr Rebecca Payne, RCGP Chair Wales, said:

"The news that workforce numbers have fallen is very disappointing for GPs and for patients.

"Workforce shortages are already being felt across Wales, there are fewer GPs to cope with rising demand and patients are having to wait longer to see their GP.

"The situation is not sustainable. General practice can be a rewarding and fulfilling profession but the workforce is increasingly stretched for some GPs the pressure is becoming too much.

"It is imperative that the Welsh Government takes urgent action to boost the GP workforce and expand the number of other healthcare professionals working in general practice."


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