Good aspirations but frustrating lack of detail for general practice in NHS People Plan, says RCGP

Publication date: 30 July 2020

Responding to the NHS England and Improvement People Plan, published today, Professor Martin Marshall, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: "General practice is the foundation of the NHS, it keeps the health service sustainable and delivers care where patients want it, close to home. That is only possible because of the hard-working GPs and other healthcare professionals working within it – but they have been working under intense resource and workforce pressures for too long and the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly added to these pressures.

"It’s encouraging that the NHS People Plan, published today, continues to acknowledge the need to grow the GP workforce and we appreciate the aspirations within it – but given the significant delays in releasing this plan, it is disappointing and frustrating not to see more detail on how this will be delivered. In particular, we need to see a clear strategy for retaining the existing GP workforce, including how to reduce the ‘undoable’ workload that is causing many to leave the profession earlier than planned.

"In the shorter term, general practice will be at the forefront of managing the physical and psychological long-term effects of the COVID-19 and helping their local communities to recover, as well as continuing to deliver routine GP services, and preparing for an uncertain winter. It is more essential now than ever to ensure GPs have the necessary workforce capacity to deal with both new and pre-existing pressures, so they can continue to deliver high -quality care of their patients."

Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7494/7633/7574/7575
Out of hours: 020 3188 7659
press@rcgp.org.uk

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 53,000 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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