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Primary care out-of-hours services

The Auditor General for Wales published his report on “Primary care out-of-hours services” in July 2018.

Out of hours services provide urgent primary care when GP surgeries are closed. They form part of the wider urgent care system that includes A&E departments, NHS Direct and the emerging 111 service.

The report shows that, out-of-hours services are under significant strain. Although patients seem generally happy with the services they get, poor staff morale and difficulties in filling shifts are threatening the resilience of services in many parts of Wales, and a more sustainable approach is needed to address these challenges.

The report found that national standards on the timeliness of appointments are not being met and that patients need to be given better information about how to access services. There is also a lack of information on service quality and performance which is hampering effective management of services at the national and local level.

The planning of out of hours services typically happens in isolation from other services despite it being part of a wider urgent care system

The Public Accounts Committee undertook an inquiry during spring 2019 and Members also undertook visit to out-of-hours facilities as part of this inquiry. The Committee published its Report in July 2019.

The Welsh Government is scheduled to submit a comprehensive update on progress made against the Committee’s recommendations in July 2020.


Evidence Session

Date, Agenda and Minutes



Visit to out-of-hours services

21 January 2019

28 January 2019

3 March 2019



1. Hywel Dda University Health Board

Joe Teape
Richard Archer

Monday 18 March 2019

Read transcript of Evidence Session 1

Watch Evidence Session 1 on Senedd TV

2. Cardiff and Value University Health Board

Steve Curry
Lisa Dunsford
Dr Sherard Lemaitre

Monday 18 March 2019

Read transcript of Evidence Session 2

Watch Evidence Session 2 on Senedd TV

3. Welsh Government

Dr Andrew Goodall
Simon Dean
Judith Paget - Chief Executive of Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, Chair of the National Primary Care Board and Strategic Lead for Out of Hours Services

Monday 29 April 2019

Read transcript of Evidence Session 3

Watch Evidence Session 3 on Senedd TV


Business type: Other

First published: 08/08/2018

Decision due: Meeting Date by Public Accounts Committee




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