Chancellor’s announcement could intensify ‘crisis’ in general practice

Publication date: 26 June 2013

The Royal College of General Practitioners warns the ‘crisis’ in general practice will intensify if pooling health and social care resources leads to money being diverted away from GP services

The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) has warned that the ‘crisis’ in general practice will intensify if the pooling of health and social care resources, announced by the Chancellor today, leads to money being diverted away from GP services.

Dr Clare Gerada, Chair of the RCGP, said: “We are relieved that the Chancellor has kept his promise of ring fencing the NHS budget and welcome the focus on integration between health and social care.

“We must now reach an agreement about how the money can be shared most fairly in the best interests of patients - but general practice must not lose out.

“General practice is the cornerstone of the NHS and it is essential that our funding is increased for the benefit of patients and for the sustainability of the NHS.

“GPs make 90% of NHS patient contacts but receive only 9% of the budget and RCGP figures show that if current trends continue, spending on general practice will reduce by £200 million in the next three years.

“A recent RCGP poll has shown that 85% of GPs think the profession is in crisis, and 49% say they can no longer guarantee safe patient care.

“As patients are living longer with complex and multiple conditions, GPs are facing ever-increasing demands and responsibilities whilst resources are decreasing, with concerning implications for patient care.

“Many GPs report making up to 60 patient contacts everyday, a number which would have previously only been seen in exceptional circumstances, such as a flu epidemic.

"We need a 10% increase to current funding for general practice, including 10,000 more GPs, to maintain and improve the services we deliver to patients.”

Ends

Further Information

RCGP Press office - 020 3188 7574/7575/7576
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 44,000 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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