Responding to the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee’s report on medical recruitment, Dr Charlotte Jones, Chair BMA Cymru Wales’ GP Committee, said:
“The recruitment and retention of medical staff is a major concern affecting the Welsh NHS and its ability to provide the best care for its patients. BMA Cymru Wales welcomes a number of recommendations set out in the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee’s Medical Recruitment report, as a contribution to tackling these issues.
“BMA Cymru Wales has previously warned of the challenges facing general practice, and raised concerns around lack of access to GP training and experience. In recent inquiries, we have called for an increase in the number of doctors trained in Wales as part of the solution to tackling recruitment challenges. We therefore welcome the Cabinet Secretary’s willingness to keep the conversation open about the number of GP training places in Wales, dependent on future fill rates, working with GPs and primary care clusters to find a solution.
“We’re also pleased to see recommendations to increase trainee time in general practice, following our previous suggestions that consideration be given to making foundation year GP placements mandatory for all doctors in training. BMA Cymru Wales has previously highlighted concerns that recruitment challenges are often more acute in more rural parts of Wales, therefore the Committee’s call to develop an action plan for rural and medical training and education is also to be welcomed.
“Early indications of the GP Incentive Scheme are positive, with a 91% fill rate in Wales. It makes sense that a review takes place and we look forward to receiving annual updates, along with progressing on initiatives to retain the current GP workforce.
“The committee’s recommendation for Welsh Government to focus on robust, long-term workforce planning comes after previous calls from BMA Cymru Wales, suggesting there should be a whole-system strategic approach to workforce planning, working with key healthcare stakeholders. BMA Cymru Wales is eager to be a part of this process, ensuring a sustainable Welsh NHS for doctors and patients across the country.”
For further information please contact:
BMA Cymru Wales, Fifth floor, 2 Caspian Point, Caspian Way, Cardiff Bay, Cardiff, CF10 4DQ
Telephone: 029 2047 4626
Mobile: 07500 765994
Email: Carla Murphy ([email protected])