Wales

GP recruitment plan and £10m for primary care in Wales

GP surgery
Image caption The Welsh government said, overall, GP numbers in Wales have increased by 11% between 2003 and 2013

A GP said she hopes a UK-wide campaign to recruit medical students into the profession will ease pressure on doctors' practices in Wales.

Dr Rebecca Payne said there is a particular problem in north Wales with GPs getting older and fewer younger doctors taking over.

The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) is launching a recruitment film to trigger a change.

The Welsh government says an extra £10m is being spent on primary care.

RCGP Wales spokeswoman Dr Payne, who teaches medical students at Cardiff University and works as a GP for an out of hours service in north Wales, said it is hard to know exactly how many more GPs are needed in Wales.

"Patients are telling us they are struggling to get appointments and we are working harder and harder," she said.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionListen to a taster of the GP recruitment video

The Welsh government said, overall, GP numbers in Wales have increased by 11% between 2003 and 2013.

But the RCGP reckons more GPs will be needed across the UK as the aging population continues to grow.

Its film aims to "tackle media stereotypes of general practice as less stimulating and exciting than other medical careers".

Meanwhile, Health Minister Mark Drakeford has announced that an extra £6m will be spent over the next year to help healthcare professionals and free up GP time look after people with more complex needs. Another £4m will be spent on improving access to community care.

In all, 64 primary care "clusters" have been set up across Wales of GP practices working with pharmacists, dentists, optometrists, therapists, nurses and healthcare workers.

They will run a primary care support team to provide locum cover or offer training and advice to manage local service pressures among other things.

"We are shifting focus from hospital-based care to improving population health and community-based care," said Mr Drakeford.

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