RCGP open to learning from other countries – but new initiatives must be backed up by resource

Professor Kamila Hawthorne, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: "Some of the ideas floated over the weekend are aligned with our manifesto ask for funding for community health centres and some areas in the UK have been able to adopt a similar model already - and it's encouraging that the Shadow Secretary of State seems to understand the burden of bureaucracy currently facing GPs, and wants to address it.

“We’re open to sharing ideas with and learning from other countries to explore what initiatives work and what don’t as we try to ensure patients receive the best possible care in a way that helps keeps the health service sustainable. Our understanding is that the innovative approach to primary care services in Australia has come with significant resources for infrastructure and workforce. So in a similar way, new initiatives in the UK will need to be backed up by sufficient resource and more GPs, so that they can be implemented effectively – and that they are properly piloted and evaluated before wider roll out, so we know they are of benefit for both patients and the health service as a whole.

“GPs and our teams delivered over 37 million appointments in October, all with 761 fewer fully qualified, full-time GPs than in December 2019. This is an increase of over 6 million appointments from the number delivered in October 2019, the equivalent to over 218,000 appointments per day.

“If we’re going to turn this situation around, we’re going to need to see significant investment in general practice, and efforts ramped up to increase the GP workforce, especially into keeping the GPs we already have, in the profession for longer. Our manifesto outlines seven solutions – including appropriate resource allocation for recruitment, retention and infrastructure - that will help improve patient access to safe and timely care and ensure that there are enough GPs to safeguard the future of general practice and the wider NHS.”

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.