Representing you

Our Policy and Campaigns team works to influence policy and hold Governments to account across the UK. We advocate on behalf of GPs, their wider teams and patients at the highest levels, and promote the crucial role of general practice in the NHS.

Three women in conversation

We promote the tireless work of GPs and campaign to ensure that all patients can receive high quality care when they need it. Read our definition of a GP.

We lead the conversation around health policy with our policy work and are campaigning for the best deal for general practice building on the Long Term Workforce Plan, the Fuller Stocktake and the GP Access Recovery Plan. In 2024, a key priority will be raising the profile of issues that matter to GPs as we prepare for the upcoming election.

Policy and campaigning priorities 2023-26

For 2023-26, our policy and campaigns priorities will be aligned to the RCGP strategic plan: Building a sustainable future for general practice.

The priorities which our policy and campaigning work will focus on are:

  1. Tackle the workforce and workload crisis
  2. Reduce the increasing gap in health inequalities
  3. Respond to the climate emergency

Looking back at 2023, RCGP secured key policy and campaigning successes, including:

The College was referenced in Parliament 104 times 

This is across debates and committee work in both houses. See a short selection of the MPs and Peers who supported our work.

Launched the RCGP manifesto: ‘Seven steps to save general practice and safeguard our NHS’

we supported over 650 people to email their MP with our manifesto and invite them to attend our upcoming parliamentary launch. Over 20 MPs have confirmed their attendance.

Met with 48 MPs  

This included meetings with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Steve Barclay MP and his opposite number in Labour, Wes Streeting MP. 

Secured a four-month extension for newly qualified international GPs

We led a significant campaign including the publication of our policy report, Opening the door to international GPs (PDF file, 649 KB), and involving over 4,000 GPs writing to the Home Secretary. Following this, the Government agreed to extend the visas of International Medical Graduate GPs by four months. We are continuing to work with officials to try and further improve this policy.

Supported 1447 members writing to their MP on winter pressures 

In March 2023, we launched our latest Fit for the Future GP Pressures report (PDF file, 707 KB) and campaign highlighting the extreme pressures on general practice, which supported members and supporters write to their local MPs. 

Introduced the RCGP advocacy guide 

In March 2023 we also rolled out a new advocacy guide which provides information on how to invite your MP to your practice and run a visit. It has helped RCGP members across the UK advocate for their practice and patients. 

Policy report launched: GP infrastructure 

In May 2023, we published Fit for the future: reshaping general practice infrastructure in England (PDF file, 1 MB), highlighting the urgent need for investment and improvement to bring GP premises up to standard and accommodate expanding teams. Over 450 RCGP members emailed their MP a copy of the report and the issue of GP infrastructure has been raised in parliament a number of times.

Secured a review of the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) 

Following our lobbying on reducing bureaucracy and micro incentives, the Department of Health and Social Care has launched a consultation on the future of GP incentives in England. 

Responded to 19 consultations from Government and other stakeholders 

We submitted evidence and responses to represent the voice of general practice on issues ranging from integration within the health care system, to women's health, to major conditions.

Responded to the COVID-19 inquiry 

We responded to the COVID-19 inquiry to provide a clear picture of the key role general practice played in the pandemic.

Responded to 21 clinical policy consultations 

Working with our Clinical Adviser Network, we reviewed clinical guidelines and submitted responses to ensure general practice is appropriately considered within key NICE guidelines and other publications.

Contact our Policy and Campaigns team

Email: policy@rcgp.org.uk

The RCGP general election manifesto for England sets out seven steps to save general practice and safeguard our NHS.

RCGP regularly produces policy statements and reports setting out the College's position on important issues affecting primary care.

Our Clinical Policy programme leads on the development of position statements for clinical policy and practice.

The RCGP Research Programme works in a number of ways to help ensure robust evidence remains at the heart of what we do.

We share our examples of good practice and innovations in general practice, to support GPs and practices in developing their services and systems.

We believe that with the right tools, skills and investment, general practice can continue to deliver world-class, place-based patient care and being a GP can be the best job in the world.

RCGP Northern Ireland continues to seek creative opportunities to engage with key decision makers and informers within the Northern Ireland Assembly and the Health Service in Northern Ireland.

We have built a strong working relationship with the Scottish Government, in particular working directly with them to deliver The Healthcare Quality Strategy for NHS Scotland.

RCGP Wales works closely with a range of stakeholders to support GPs and promote excellence in primary healthcare in Wales.

The College responds to many consultations each year and welcomes input from our members.

The RCGP runs a programme for the endorsement of external stakeholder documents and projects. This programme gives organisations the opportunity to apply for RCGP endorsement of their work.

Responding to the climate emergency is a strategic priority for the College, as we recognise the inextricable link between human and planetary health.

What is a GP?

Read the RCGP definition of what a GP is, and the important work they do.

Definition of a GP
A woman with long dark hair and wearing an animal print top smiles while in conversation with a bearded man.