‘We face unrelenting pressure’ says College Chair

College Chair Kamila Hawthorne responds NHS England’s March GP workforce and appointments data. 

Professor Kamila Hawthorne, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: "The latest workforce and appointment figures for general practice make for grim reading - we still remain under unrelenting pressures as our workloads continue to outstrip the capacity of our workforce. 

"GPs and their teams delivered 29.9 million appointments last month, 3.6 million more than in March 2019, yet with 912 fewer GPs. This means that for the first quarter of 2024 we've delivered 4.8 million more appointments than the same period last year. Despite this growth in demand, 44% of appointments were delivered on the same day they were booked. 

"The hard work and effort of GPs and their teams ensures that our patients receive the care they need, but demand continues to grow, both in complexity and volume, and we simply don't have enough GPs to keep up. General practice handles the majority of patient contacts so if our resourcing is continually neglected this will have a rippling effect throughout the health service, compounding pressures on other branches of our NHS. 

"Our manifesto outlines seven solutions – including funding for recruitment and retention - to ensure that there are enough GPs to safeguard the future of general practice. This is the best and most effective route to improving patient access to safe, timely and appropriate care, and all political parties must take heed."

Further information

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Notes to editors

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.