Promises of more GPs must be delivered to avoid waiting times getting worse, says College

Publication date: 12 August 2019

Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, has responded to a survey by Pulse magazine that has found patients are waiting for more than two weeks on average for a routine GP appointment.

She said: "Our patients should be able to see a GP when they need to – and the fact that this is becoming increasingly difficult is frustrating for GPs and our teams, as we know it is for them.

"When patients need to see a GP or member of the practice team urgently, we are working incredibly hard to ensure they can get access – and this is reflected in the most recent NHS figures. But people are waiting too long for routine appointments, and the concern is that non-serious conditions might deteriorate, or patient's give up trying to see the GP and we miss signs of serious illness early when it could be dealt with simply and more cost-effectively in primary care.

"The College has long been raising the alarm about escalating resource and workforce pressures in general practice, and the negative impact this is having on our patients. GPs and our teams are making more consultations than ever before – more than a million a day across the UK – but as our population grows and more people present with multiple conditions, we desperately need more GPs and more time to give our patients the care they deserve.

"We have had some very welcome promises of investment in our service and more GPs and members of the practice team across the four nations of the UK - these must be delivered urgently and in full, or waiting times will get worse, ultimately jeopardising the care we are able to deliver for patients."

Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7633/7574/7575
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659
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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