General practice had busiest November on record, latest figures show

The RCGP has responded to the latest general practice data from NHS England, which shows general practice had the busiest November on record. Professor Kamila Hawthorne, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: 

“These latest figures show that GPs and our teams are working harder than ever to make sure patients receive the care and services they need under really difficult circumstances. The data makes clear that need for our care continues to spiral, yet we still have fewer qualified, full-time equivalent GPs than before the pandemic – and we need practical action to address this.

“GPs and our teams had their busiest November on record last year, delivering more than 31 million appointments – a 30% increase on 2019, yet with 646 fewer fully qualified, full-time equivalent GPs. Almost 43% of these were delivered on the day they were booked, and almost 70% were conducted in person. The average number of patients per GP in England is now an eye watering 2,290, meaning each GP is responsible for 147 more patients than in December 2019.

“Without significant investment in general practice and efforts ramped up to increase the GP workforce, especially into keeping the GPs we already have in the profession for longer, meeting the increasing demand for care will be an incredible challenge. Our manifesto outlines seven solutions – including appropriate resource allocation for recruitment and retention - that will help improve patient access to safe and timely care and ensure that there are enough GPs to safeguard the future of general practice and the wider NHS.”

Further information

RCGP press office: 0203 188 7659

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.