Mehefin 2004 June

Health Matters

On April 1st the way family doctors (GPs) work changed.

Patients will benefit as doctors will be rewarded for providing higher quality care, in practical terms this will mean patients being more closely monitored if they suffer from a chronic health problem such as diabetes, asthma or heart disease so that complications can be reduced or avoided.

GPs will also be able to opt out of providing certain services, if this happens Denbighshire Local Health Board (LHB) will be responsible for ensuring these services are provided elsewhere. Out of hours cover will no longer be provided by your GP 7 days a week, this responsibility will be taken over by Denbighshire LHB, patients will contact their usual surgery number and will be transferred to an out of hours answering service who will deal with the call.

This is the area that concerns patients the most but it has been operating successfully in many areas such as Chirk and the North Wales coast for some time, people should be reassured that there will be no break in service if they need to contact a doctor urgently in the evenings or at weekends.

Wales is short of over 200 GPs. In a bid to help recruit and retain GPs the new GP contract will improve doctors working lives and career structure, nurses and pharmacists will take on extended roles, this will free up GPs enabling them to focus on the work that only a doctor can do.

Leaflets outlining the new provision of services are available at chemists, doctors’ surgeries, dentists and opticians.

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