General practice in Wales receives the lowest proportion of overall NHS spend when comparing the four UK nations, an Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) analysis has shown.
Figures for 2016/17 show that the proportion of NHS funding spent in general practice was 8.88% for the UK as a whole, with 9.17% in England, 8.26% in Northern Ireland and 7.35% in Scotland.
RCGP Wales said some additional spending had pushed the percentage NHS spend in Welsh general practice to 7.30% but that it still fell short of the 11% needed and was the lowest proportion of the UK nations.
RCGP Wales called on the Welsh Government to urgently increase funding for general practice for the ‘sake of patient care’.
The contract agreement for 2017/18 saw a 1.4% funding increase for practice general expenses and an additional £2.7m towards wider practice clinical teams.
QOF was also reduced to disease registers as part of a strategy to take pressure off primary care.
Dr Rebecca Payne, RCGP Wales Chair, said she was disappointed that Welsh general practice continues to receive the lowest levels of investment in the UK.
‘General practice in Wales is significantly underfunded, resulting in longer waiting times for patients.
‘If the quality of patient care is to be maintained and improved, the Welsh government urgently needs to increase funding and spend 11% of its NHS budget in general practice.’