BJGP research shows A&E pressures not down to GP access

Publication date: 16 January 2018

Commenting on a study by Queen Mary University of London published in the British Journal of General Practice, Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: "Patients should only use A&E services in a genuine emergency, and GPs and our teams are working incredibly hard to deliver more consultations than ever across the UK, to ensure that remains the case.

"General practice makes the vast majority of patient contacts in the NHS and by doing so we alleviate pressures on Emergency Departments, we don't add to them – this research backs this up with important new data.

"It is also clear from this research that we need better messaging for the public as to the different medical services available to them, within routine working hours and out, so that our patients know the most appropriate place to turn when they become sick.

"UK general practice is currently facing intense resource and workforce pressures. Our workload has risen at least 16% over the past seven years, but the share of the overall NHS budget we receive is less than it was a decade ago, and the number of GPs has not risen at pace with demand.

"We urgently need NHS England's GP Forward View, pledging £2.4bn extra a year and 5,000 more GPs, to be delivered in full, so that we continue to deliver the most cost-effective service in the NHS, and deliver the changing care our patients need and deserve."

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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