Recruitment efforts in under-doctored areas must be stepped up to tackle health inequalities, says RCGP

Publication date: 20 May 2018

Responding to new figures published in The Observer on GP numbers based on levels of deprivation, Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said:

"We desperately need more GPs right across the country, but we know that some areas, often more deprived areas - but also rural and some coastal areas – are finding it more difficult to recruit GPs than others.

"The paradox is that people living in deprived areas tend to have a greater number of long term conditions and more complex health needs, and actually, they often need more access to general practice services.

"Patients who suffer from multiple, long term health conditions – and there are more in deprived areas - need longer with their GP to disentangle all their health issues. The standard 10-minute consultation is simply unfit for purpose for patients with complex problems, but to offer longer appointments, we need more doctors, and we simply don't have them.

"Incentives for GPs to work in under-doctored areas have been successful where they have been piloted – we need to see these expanded, and rolled out across the country, but we also need to see efforts amplified to tackling the crippling workloads facing GPs, so that we can recruit more doctors to the profession, and safeguard the ones we have from burning out.

"Ultimately, we need to see NHS England's GP Forward View, with pledges of £2.4bn extra a year for general practice, 5,000 more GPs and 5,000 more practice team members by 2020 delivered in full and as a matter of urgency."

Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7633/7574/7575
Out of hours: 0203 188 765
press@rcgp.org.uk

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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