RCGP response to NHS England's The Earlier The Better campaign

Publication date: 20 January 2014

Dr Maureen Baker says numerous benefits of self care with support from GPs or other healthcare professionals

RCGP Chair Dr Maureen Baker said:

"People with Long Term Conditions do not want to be defined by them and care planning is an effective way of helping people manage their own condition, rather than the other way round. Day to day care is self management. 

"Many people tell us that they want to take more control in managing their own conditions and GPs are keen to work with them to achieve this.

"There are numerous benefits for patients who self care - as long as they are appropriately supported by their GP or other health care professional. If patients are in control, it can improve the quality of their lives immeasurably and make a dramatic difference to their physical and mental health and wellbeing.

"Self care empowers and supports our patients as well as enabling us, as GPs, to ensure that people with Long Term Conditions receive the best possible care which we can deliver.

"At a time when GPs are heaving under the strain of spiralling workloads and funding for general practice is at an all-time low - with GPs carrying out 90% of NHS patient contacts for just 8.39% of the NHS budget - we welcome NHS England's drive to improve care for patients through self care. 

"We hope that NHS England will work with us to promote our campaign Put patients first: Back general practice which aims to persuade the governments of the UK to increase the share of the NHS budget going to general practice to 11% by 2017, starting with an increase of one percentage point of the NHS budget this year."

Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7574/7575/7581
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 50,000 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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