Primary health care provides the first point
of contact in the healthcare system. In the NHS, the main source of
primary health care is general practice.
The Health, Social Care and Sport
Committee's inquiry will focus on the role of clusters (groups
of GPs working with other health and care professionals to plan and
provide services locally) as a means of transforming primary care.
There are 64 cluster networks across Wales, serving populations of
between 30 and 50 thousand patients. Clusters are determined by
individual local health boards in each area.
Terms of reference:
The Committee’s inquiry aims to provide
a better understanding of how the cluster model is working in Wales
and will consider:
- How GP
cluster networks in Wales can assist in reducing demand on GPs and
the extent to which clusters can provide a more accessible route to
care (including mental health support in primary
emerging multi-disciplinary team (how health and care professionals
fit into the new cluster model and how their contribution can be
current and future workforce challenges.
funding allocated directly to clusters to enable GP practices to
try out new ways of working; how monies are being used to reduce
the pressure on GP practices, improve services and access available
challenges and the shift to primary prevention in general practice
to improve population health outcomes and target health
maturity of clusters and the progress of cluster working in
different Local Health Boards, identifying examples of best
and national leadership supporting the development of the cluster
infrastructure; how the actions being taken complement those in the
Welsh Government's primary care plan and 2010 vision,
detail on the aspects being evaluated, the support being supplied
centrally and the criteria in place to determine the success or
otherwise of clusters, including how input from local communities
is being incorporated into the development and testing being
The Committee invited views on
this issue. The consultation closed on 3 February 2017.
Written response from the Cabinet Secretary for Health,
Well-being and Sport.
Report on the inquiry into Primary Care: Clusters (PDF
Welsh Government Response – January 2018 (PDF 277KB)
The Plenary debate on
the Committee’s report took place on 17 January 2018.