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 submitted a comprehensive update on progress made against both the Committee’s recommendations (Report published in July 2019) and Audit Wales recommendations made in their Out of Hours report that was published in July 2018, in August 2020. A further update was received in February 2021.

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

Status: Complete

First published: 08/08/2018