College's updated response to Secretary of State's speech

Publication date: 20 July 2018

Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: "Having now seen the full speech, it is encouraging that the new Secretary of State seems to have recognised the need to invest in primary care and the prevention of disease, and also that he has recognised the importance of increasing the availability of social prescribing opportunities to complement the evidence-based treatments we offer for physical and psychological distress in our patients.

"But while there is reference to GP workload, we would have liked more explicit emphasis on Mr Hancock's plans for increasing the number of 'real' GPs providing frontline care to patients.

"We are currently at least 6,000 GPs short – almost one per practice in England – yet today alone over 1m patients will visit their GP surgeries.

"GP workload has increased by 16% over the last seven years but our share of the NHS budget has not kept pace. GPs and our teams are facing unprecedented pressures and excellent family doctors are burning out and, in some cases, having to leave our profession altogether.

"We hope to meet with Mr Hancock as a matter of urgency to discuss how we can tackle these issues, and ensure that general practice is properly resourced and GPs are properly supported to do their jobs of providing safe and innovative high quality care to patients."

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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