RCGP response to BMA survey on pressures facing general practice

Publication date: 03 March 2016

RCGP Chair, Dr Maureen Baker, said: “This survey echoes what the College has been saying some time through our Put patients first: Back general practice campaign – that relentless patient demand coupled with decreasing resources is a threat to our profession, and our patients’ safety.

“GPs and our teams are making in excess of 370m patient consultations a year to keep up with the demand of our growing and ageing population, with many patients presenting with multiple, complex conditions. This is 60m more consultations than five years ago, yet funding for general practice has declined dramatically in real terms over the last ten years, and our workforce has remained relatively stagnant.

“GPs are feeling this burden and are being driven to retire early or emigrate to practise in less stressful settings. Unless we can reverse this trend, GP surgeries will find it increasingly difficult to deliver safe patient care and in some instances, as we are already seeing, will be forced to close.

“This is a genuine danger to patient safety – and to the wellbeing of hardworking family doctors and our teams.
“The Government has spoken of a package of measures to address the growing pressures facing general practice. It is essential that this includes more investment in general practice, initiatives to 'recruit retain and return' thousands more GPs and practice staff, and measures to cut unnecessary red tape that is taking family doctors away from frontline patient care.

“In the longer term we are calling on ministers to increase funding for general practice to 11% of the NHS budget and to recruit thousands more GPs over the course of this parliament, so that we can deliver the safe care our patients need and deserve.”

Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7574/7575/7633
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 52,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.

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