RCGP response to Prime Minister's announcement on funding increase in A&E

Publication date: 08 August 2013

In response to Prime Minister David Cameron’s announcement to pump an extra £500 million into Emergency Departments, Dr Clare Gerada, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, has said: “This is a temporary, sticking plaster solution that will only plug the gaps in the short term when what we need is a long term solution and that is major investment in general practice.

"GPs make 90 per cent of NHS patient contacts but receive only 9 per cent of the budget. General practice is the foundation stone of the NHS and stabilises the rest of the health service. If general practice was appropriately resourced and we had more GPs, we would be able to provide more care to patients in their communities, so that they do not have to go into hospital unless absolutely necessary.

"While the government continues to focus on the crisis in Emergency Departments, it is losing sight of the very real crisis in general practice. Our recent survey revealed that some GPs are routinely making up to 60 patient contacts in the space of a single day, that 85% of GPs think that the profession is in crisis and that nearly half can no longer guarantee safe patient care.

"This is not sustainable. If general practice starts to crumble then the rest of the health service will collapse, with disastrous consequences for patient care. We call on the government as a matter of urgency to invest in general practice and those working in it, so that we can deliver real improvements for our patients.”

ENDS

Further Information

RCGP Press office - 020 3188 7574/7575
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659
press@rcgp.org.uk

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 46,000 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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