‘This is becoming increasingly unsustainable’ – College responds to latest GP appointment data

Dr Victoria Tzortziou-Brown, Vice Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners, has responded to NHS Digital’s data on general practice workforce and GP appointments for October. Dr Tzortziou-Brown said:

“These latest figures show, yet again, that general practice remains in a precarious position, and that we need immediate action if we’re to continue meeting the health needs of our patients which are growing in both volume and complexity.

“GPs and their teams delivered over 37 million appointments in October, all with 761 fewer fully qualified, full-time GPs than in December 2019. This is an increase of over 6 million appointments from the number delivered in October 2019, the equivalent to over 218,000 appointments per day. The average number of patients per GP in England is now an eye watering 2,294. General practice relies on teams, with both clinical and non-clinical staff, led by GPs, working incredibly hard to ensure patients receive the care they need, but the data speaks for itself, this is becoming increasingly unsustainable.

“If we’re going to turn this situation around, we’re going to need to see 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. 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.