RCGP response to Government announcement on Better Care Fund

Publication date: 05 July 2014

RCGP Chair says Government announcement is promising, with potential for improvements to standard of patient care

Dr Maureen Baker, Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners, said:

“Today's announcement sounds extremely promising, and has the potential to lead to real improvements in the standards of care that GPs can offer their patients.

"This boost to general practice is desperately needed.

"Over the last decade, investment in general practice has been cut back so much that, as patient demand has soared, the service has been left teetering on the brink of collapse.

"As family doctors have increasingly begun to drown under ballooning workloads, waiting times have grown longer and the overwhelming majority of GPs now fear they could miss something serious in a patient.

"The idea that general practice can continue to conduct 90% of patient contacts in the NHS for just 8.5% of the NHS budget is simply unsustainable.

"Today’s initiative shows that the message has finally got through that we cannot continue to let general practice wither on the vine.

"If general practice is allowed to collapse the effects would engulf the rest of the NHS like a tidal wave, with even more pressure being heaped on our already stretched hospitals.”

She added:

"This announcement is a major achievement for the College's high-profile campaign for more funding in general practice, which we felt compelled to launch due to the chronic under-investment in the service."

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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