HSCC report long overdue recognition GPs need support to deliver patient care

Responding to the Health and Social Care Committee’s report on the future of general practice, Professor Martin Marshall, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: "Today’s report recognises what the College has been saying for many years, that GPs and our teams are working under unsustainable workforce and workload pressures, and this is impacting on the care we are able to deliver to patients.

“GPs and our teams want to deliver safe, timely and high-quality personalised care for patients, but while workload escalates in terms of volume and complexity, numbers of fully-qualified, full-time equivalent GPs have fallen since 2015.

“We need to see urgent action taken, not just to further increase recruitment into NHS general practice, but to keep hard-working, experienced GPs in the profession longer, delivering patient care on the front line and not bogged down in unnecessary bureaucracy.

“The Committee’s report also acknowledges the importance of GPs and our teams building trusting relationships with patients and delivering continuity of care, something that evidence has shown improves patients’ health outcomes, and has benefits for the NHS. This is the type of care GPs want to give and the type of care many of our patients want, but amidst the current pressures facing general practice, is becoming increasingly difficult to deliver despite the best efforts of GP teams.

“Today’s report is long overdue recognition by influential MPs that general practice is in crisis and the Government must take note of its recommendations and act to address the intense workload and workforce pressures facing the profession as they strive to deliver care to patients.

“The College has already put forward a plan, which would help to achieve this. Our Fit for the Future campaign calls on the Government to address the spiralling workload and workforce pressures in general practice, including a new recruitment and retention strategy that goes beyond the target of 6,000 GPs pledged by the government in their election manifesto. We also want investment into GP premises and IT and booking systems and a reduction in unnecessary bureaucracy so that we can spend more time on frontline patient care, and those patients who really need to see a GP are able to do so.”

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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.