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GP practices in Wales working hard to provide safe care to patients

GP practices are responsible for meeting the Health and Care Standards 2015 and we assess service delivery against this framework. Our Annual Report published today, summarises the findings from our inspections during 2016-17.

The overall findings from the year were positive, with GP practices working hard to provide safe and effective care to patients. There were examples of good practice identified across the sector.  During our inspections, patients told us that they valued the care they received from their GP practice and feedback from patient questionnaires was generally positive. 

Arranging appointments can be a huge challenge for both patients and practices as demand increases. This was a feature in all of the practices we visited and systems had been introduced to try to deal with the demand. However, health boards and GPs need to do more to help patients understand how other services can help them when they are unwell and in many cases, may  be a better alternative to seeing their GP.

We have seen some improvements in services inspected in 2016-17 but it is disappointing that the majority of recommendations made this year, are similar to those made in 2015-16. All GP practices and health boards in Wales should consider the recommendations as part of providing a safe and effective service.

Commenting on the report, HIW’s Chief Executive Dr Kate Chamberlain said:

Our report shows that patients were generally happy with the care and treatment provided to them. The majority of practices, however, need to do more to explain how other services may be able to help patients. 

It is important that all involved in general practice, including local health boards, learn from the findings of this report and focus attention on the areas for improvement.

Annual Report 2016 – 2017 General Medical Practices (GPs) Inspections

http://hiw.org.uk/docs/hiw/reports/170920gpen.pdf?lang=en