'Substantial efforts' needed to retain more GPs, says RCGP

Publication date: 01 February 2018

Professor Kamila Hawthorne, Vice Chair of the Royal College of GPs, has responded to analysis of workforce data by Pulse magazine.

She said: "If more GPs are leaving the profession, for whatever reason, than entering it then the service we deliver to more than a million patients a day is in jeopardy. We need to see the substantial efforts being made to recruit more GPs matched with initiatives to retain existing GPs in our workforce.

"GPs and our teams are working incredibly hard to deliver the best care they can for patients, but for many the combination of chronic underfunding, severe staff shortages, and escalating workload has become too much. 

"Over the last seven years, GP workload has increased by at least 16%, but the share of the overall NHS budget general practice receives is less than it was a decade ago, and our workforce has not risen at pace with demand. 

"Leaving the profession will not be a decision taken lightly by GPs, and many won't want to leave. We need to look at ways to keep experienced GPs, who are highly-trained and have huge amounts of knowledge to impart, in the profession for as long as possible – not just for the benefit of our patients, but less experienced GPs who can learn lots from them.

"Being a GP can be a hugely satisfying, rewarding and life-long career, but only so long as we have the resources, support and workforce we desperately need.

"That's why we need to see NHS England's GP Forward View, which promises 5,000 more GPs, 5,000 other members of the practice team, and an extra £2.4bn a year for general practice, delivered, in full, as a matter of urgency."

Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7633/7574/7575
Out of hours: 0203 188 765

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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