General practice is understaffed, underfunded and overstretched - and we and our patients deserve more, says College

Responding to the latest GP workforce and workload data published by NHS Digital, Professor Kamila Hawthorne, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “Today’s figures highlight the hard work of GPs and our teams to deliver care and services to our patients in the face of intense workload and workforce pressures. In December, more than 27m consultations were delivered in general practice, with nearly half delivered on the same day they were booked - but numbers of fully qualified, full-time equivalent GPs has fallen by 754 since 2019.

“General practice is understaffed, underfunded and overstretched. GPs and our teams are at the forefront of delivering care to increasing numbers of patients with common winter illnesses as well as interim care to the millions of patients on NHS waiting lists, as well as continuing to deliver routine care and services. This escalating workload with falling GP numbers is unsustainable and needs to be addressed.

“Patients deserve to have a general practice service that is able to deliver timely, safe and appropriate care - and GP teams deserve to have safe and sustainable circumstances in which to deliver that care. This is why the College is calling on government to urgently devise and implement a bold recruitment and retention strategy that goes beyond the target of 6,000 GPs pledged in its election manifesto, and for steps to cut bureaucracy so that GPs can spend more time with their patients and give them the care they need and deserve.”

Further information

RCGP Press office: 0203 188 7659

Notes to editors

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 54,000 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.