NHS workforce must be a top priority in Brexit negotiations, says RCGP

Publication date: 14 November 2017

Responding to a British Medical Association survey of doctors from EEA countries, Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “We’re pleased to be standing shoulder to shoulder with colleagues at the BMA in our long-standing calls for a unilateral promise for all EU citizens working in the NHS, that their position will be secure as a result of Brexit negotiations.

“It’s terrible to hear that so many doctors trained in the EU and practising in the UK – 2,137 of them GPs, delivering care to over 3m patients – are making plans to leave as a result of the Brexit vote, but it is not surprising when their future status remains up in the air.

“Doctors and other healthcare professionals make a huge contribution to the NHS – and we are incredibly grateful for the support they give us in general practice to deliver care to over a million people every day. We already have a severe shortage of GPs in the UK and we simply cannot afford to lose these doctors – in fact, the College is further calling for GPs to be added to the Migration Advisory Committee’s shortage occupation list, to make it easier for appropriately trained doctors from overseas to enter our profession.

“The NHS, particularly our health service’s workforce, must be one of the national top priorities during Brexit negotiations. But in the meantime, we need NHS England’s GP Forward View, which promises £2.4bn extra a year for general practice and 5,000 more GPs by 2020, to be implemented in full as a matter of urgency – and we need equivalent pledges to be made and delivered in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.”

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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