College refutes accusations GPs don’t want to see patients

Chair Professor Martin Marshall wrote a letter to the Daily Mail in response to an article claiming that GPs don’t want to see patients. Unfortunately, on this occasion, this has not been published, but here it is in full:

Sir, Sarah Vine is wrong to accuse GPs of ‘not wanting to see patients’ (Column, 9 Nov). GPs and their teams carried out 29m consultations in September, 41% on the day they were booked, and more than two thirds in-person.

GPs and patients are on the same side and we share their frustration when they have difficulty accessing our care and services. Wheeling out anti-GP tropes simply erodes trust between GPs and patients and demoralises hardworking GP teams who are working flat out in the face of intense workload and workforce pressures, with many considering leaving the profession as a result.

We want to deliver good, timely and appropriate care to patients – many of whom welcome the ability to access our services remotely - but underinvestment in general practice by successive governments and historic poor workforce planning has made this undoable.

Media pressure should focus on holding the government to account for troubles patients face accessing care, not attacking GPs who are doing their best in incredibly challenging circumstances.

Further information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7633

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 54,000 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.