GPs and their teams deliver 32.5 million appointments in January 2024

New NHS appointment figures show ‘unsustainable’ workload in general practice.

Professor Kamila Hawthorne, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: "These latest figures show that unsustainable workloads have become the new normal for general practice.  GPs and our teams delivered almost 32.5 million appointments in January 2024 – almost 5 million more than in January 2019, yet with 3% fewer fully qualified, full-time equivalent GPs. 

“GP teams have been working incredibly hard throughout a tough winter to keep up with this growing demand, and it is testament to their dedication to ensuring patients receive safe and timely care that almost 45% of appointments were carried out on the same day they were booked.  But without immediate action, the future of general practice is at risk. The average number of patients per fully qualified GP continues to rise and is now 2,294, meaning each GP is, on average, responsible for 154 more patients than there were five years ago. 

"GPs can’t keep doing more with less. We need significant investment and further efforts to increase the GP workforce, especially in retaining GPs, or this situation will only get worse. Our manifesto outlines seven solutions – including funding for recruitment and retention - to improve patient access to safe timely and appropriate care and ensure that there are enough GPs to safeguard the future of general practice.” 

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.