Royal College of GPs respond to British Social Attitudes survey into public perception of health and social care

Publication date: 28 February 2018

Responding to the latest British Social Attitudes survey into public perception of health and social care, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, Professor Helen-Stokes Lampard said: "This is extremely distressing news for hard-pressed GPs and their teams who are working flat-out to do the very best they can for their patients in increasingly difficult circumstances.

"But while we are very disappointed in these figures, they are hardly surprising as what we are seeing now is symptomatic of the inevitable effects of a decade of underinvestment in our family doctor service – and just not having enough GPs in the system to meet demand.

"Traditionally, patients report very high levels of satisfaction and trust in their GPs and we don't believe that these figures reflect the high standard of care most patients are receiving in general practice. But we can understand – and we share - their frustration as they face longer and longer waiting times for GP appointments.

"GPs and our teams are working incredibly hard to deliver more and more consultations - today alone, GPs and our teams will see more than 1 million patients across the country.

"Our service is the lifeblood of the NHS – we manage risk and uncertainly as well as considering all aspects of our patients' lives when delivering care.

"Without general practice, other NHS services would crumble, but we urgently need more support, including more GPs, if we are to deliver the safe and effective care that our patients need and have come to rely on.

"We desperately need the pledges made in NHS England's GP Forward View – including £2.4bn more a year for general practice, 5,000 more GPs and 5,000 more members of the wider practice team by 2020 – to be delivered in full."

Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7633/7574/7575
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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