RCGP response to The Kings Fund report on the causes of GP crisis

Publication date: 05 May 2016

The Royal College of General Practitioners has responded to new research by The King’s Fund into the causes and extent of the current crisis in general practice.

Dr Maureen Baker, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said, “This report provides cold hard facts that confirm what the College has been saying for years – that general practice is suffering under the unsustainable pressures of rising demand and a diminishing workforce.
“GPs and our teams are making more consultations than ever before, and our patients are living longer and with multiple, long-term conditions, meaning that our workload is growing in complexity as well as volume, making the standard 10-minute appointment increasingly unfit for purpose.
“We urgently need more GPs so that we can deliver the quality of care that patients need and deserve. We have seen some promising signs in the latest recruitment rounds for general practice but today’s report shows just how essential it is that we build on this and do everything we can to ‘recruit, retain and return’ as many GPs as possible.
“NHS England’s recent GP Forward View provided long overdue recognition of the essential role GPs and our teams play in keeping the NHS sustainable and safe for patients. But it was also an acknowledgement of the devastating impact of a decade of chronic underfunding for general practice.
“It is vital that the pledges of increased funding and support for general practice set out in the GP Forward View are put in place as quickly as possible. If implemented effectively they will go a long way towards alleviating the pressures highlighted by today’s report.
“But we should never have reached this point – the lack of national-level data on the state of general practice in recent years enabled many to turn a blind eye to the ever-worsening crisis until our profession was on the brink.
“Moving forwards it is vital that data collection for primary care is brought on a par with secondary care. We need consistent and regular data reviews to provide up-to-date information on activity in general practice in order to ensure we don’t end up in this situation again.
“The College will be working with NHS England and others to ensure that the proposals put forward in the GP Forward View are implemented effectively, in the best interests of our profession, the wider NHS and our patients.”

Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7574/7575/7633/7410
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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