RCGP calls for urgent action to stop GPs leaving the profession

Publication date: 12 April 2017

Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, has responded to a study published today in BMJ Open about GPs planning to leave general practice in the next five years.

She said: “Despite successful efforts to recruit more family doctors, and make it easier for people to return to practice after a career break or period working abroad, we are still haemorrhaging highly trained, experienced GPs at an alarming rate.

“General practice is currently facing intense workload and resource pressures – these figures show it is severely impacting our workforce, and we fear they are indicative of the situation right across the UK.

“The future of the NHS relies on having a robust general practice service, with enough GPs to deliver the safe care and services our patients need. GPs and our teams make the vast majority of NHS patient contacts and in doing so we keep the health service cost effective and safe for patients.

“As well as stepping up efforts to recruit more GPs and make general practice an attractive profession, it is clear that we also need new initiatives to improve retention – such as those the College presented to the Government last year – implemented as a matter of urgency.

“Being a GP can be the best job in the world, but it needs to be resourced appropriately. We support the researcher’s call to move away from ‘sticking plaster’ solutions to the crisis facing general practice to one that will keep our important service sustainable for years to come.

“The College is confident that NHS England’s GP Forward View – which pledges £2.4bn extra a year for general practice and 5,000 more GPs - is that long-term solution. We call for it to be implemented in full, swiftly and effectively, to the benefit of both GPs and patients. We also need to see similar promises in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.”

 

Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7574/7575/7633
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 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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