GPs will be in a minority on local health group boards, Welsh health minister Win Griffiths has told the British Medical Association.

The decision represents a further separation between the NHS in Wales and in England, where family doctors have fought for and won the right to dominate primary care groups.

Each local health group is to have a professional membership of 10, with a guaranteed six seats for GPs and one each for a practice nurse, a dentist, a pharmacist and an optometrist. In addition there will be six lay members.

A group's executive will have five or six members, with a GP 'normally' in the chair and two voting GP members.

Tony Calland, chair of the Welsh BMA GPs' committee, welcomed the announcement, which he said was 'in line with the wider agenda for health groups in Wales and consistent with the idea of corporate working'.

The BMA's Welsh secretary, Bob Broughton, added that while the committee still had concerns about the proposals, it 'did not see these reservations as in any way hindering a willingness to participate in and support local health groups'.