Investing in primary care is cost effective for the NHS and good for patient care says College

Publication date: 26 September 2017

Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, has welcomed new research by King's College London, published in the British Journal of General Practice today, that shows that stronger investment in primary care in England would lead to significant savings for secondary care - and reduce pressure on emergency departments.

She said: "These findings back up what the College has been saying for years – that investing more in general practice makes sound economic sense, and can alleviate pressures right across the health service.

"This should translate into reducing demand on secondary care colleagues, and more care and services being delivered in the community, where it is more cost effective, and where our patients want it most.

"GPs and our teams make the vast majority of NHS patient contacts – today alone we will see more than 1m patients across the country. Our service is the lifeblood of the NHS and without it, other services would simply crumble.

"Yet, whilst workload in general practice has soared – 16% over the last seven years according to recent research – funding for our service has declined, and our workforce has not risen in pace with demand.

"NHS England's GP Forward View has pledged £2.4bn extra a year for general practice, 5000 more GPs and 5000 more members of the wider practice team by 2020 – today's study is further evidence that this must be delivered in full and as a matter of urgency."

Further Information

View the study

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7574/7575
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 52,000 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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