'Prevention better than cure' is sensible way forward - but more funding and more GPs are needed to make it happen, says RCGP

Publication date: 05 November 2018

RCGP response to Health and Social Care Secretary's announcement on preventing ill health, Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said:

"Our NHS is facing the most enormous pressures in its 70-year history and so the Secretary of State's announcement presents a sensible way forward, particularly the emphasis on encouraging people to take greater care of their own health and the need for a radical change in NHS spending on measures to help prevent people from getting ill in the first place.

"A stronger focus on primary and community healthcare is the obvious solution and our GP teams are already doing great work in keeping patients well, in their local communities, thereby easing the pressures on other parts of the NHS.

"But it is not only hospitals that are feeling the strain and we urgently need greater investment in general practice - both extra funding and additional numbers of GPs and other healthcare professionals - before we can take on the responsibility of caring for and supporting even greater numbers of patients.

"Mr Hancock is repeatedly - and rightly - saying that GPs are the bedrock of the NHS, and it is good that the document published today acknowledges the pressures we are under as we try to manage rising patient demand at the same time as we have a severe shortage of GPs.

"We must ensure that general practice does not lose out in the plans to expand community support and that any additional staff are allocated to GP teams, as well as community health services.
"Investment in general practice is the most cost-effective way of providing care to patients, close to home where they want it, and keeping the rest of the NHS sustainable, long into the future."

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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