A new set of standards was announced by the Minister for Health and Social Services in March 2019, which aims to raise and improve the level of service for patients in Wales from their GP practices.
The standards are:
- People receive a prompt response to their contact with a GP practice via telephone.
- Practices have the appropriate telephony systems in place to support the needs of people avoiding the need to call back multiple times and will check that they are handling calls in this way.
- People receive bilingual information on local and emergency services when contacting a practice.
- People are able to access information on how to get help and advice.
- People receive the right care at the right time in a joined up way which is based on their needs.
- People can use a range of options to contact their GP practice.
- People are able to communicate digitally with a practice to request a non-urgent consultation or a call back.
- Practices understand the needs of people within their practice and use this information to anticipate the demand on its services.
What to expect from your local surgery
- When you contact your surgery, you will be treated fairly regardless of the contact method you choose.
- If you choose to contact your surgery by telephone, calls will be answered by a trained member of staff who will assess your clinical needs. To make sure you get the best support, you may be signposted to another service - the reasons for this will be clearly explained to you.
- Where access to a service (e.g., a consultation) is clinically appropriate, you will be assessed and offered an appropriate consultation, at an appropriate time without the need to ring back. This may mean that an appointment is booked for a date in the future but will be consistent with your assessed clinical need.
- You will be able to contact your surgery via an online service and receive a similar service to those who choose a telephone route.
- Your surgery will be open and honest about the services offered, how to access them and how to access additional or alternative services when required.