Yet again, vital funding for general practice being used to shore up hospitals, says RCGP

Publication date: 16 March 2017

Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the RCGP, has responded to news from the Health Service Journal today which claims that £800m CCG funding, initially intended for general practice, is instead going to be used to plug hospital deficits.

She said: “Yet again, we are hearing that vital funding that should be used to provide much needed support for GPs and our teams on the frontline of patient care in the community – where the vast majority of NHS patient contacts are made - is being taken away and used to plug hospital deficits.
“It makes no sense to take funding away from GP services, and instead use it in a way that will only serve as a sticking-plaster solution to an ongoing problem. General practice is the bedrock of the health service – we provide the most cost-effective form of care and in doing so, we keep our patients out of hospitals, alleviating pressures right across the NHS.
“We understand that hospitals are also in desperate need of funding - but we firmly believe that the long-term solution to making health and social care sustainable lies in making sure that primary care services, particularly general practice, are properly resourced.
“NHS England’s GP Forward View pledged £2.4bn extra a year for general practice, 5,000 more full time equivalent GPs, and 5,000 more members of the practice team by 2020. We need these promises to be delivered as a matter of urgency so that our colleagues on the frontline and our patients can start seeing the benefits.”

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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