‘Funding must follow patients’ says College Chair

College Chair Professor Kamila Hawthorne appears in today’s Mail Online and Evening Standard responding to the latest report from the King’s Fund on primary and community care. Professor Hawthorne said:

“GPs and our teams are the first port of call for most patients in the NHS, and as such our service alleviates pressures across the health service, so we greatly appreciate this recognition from the King’s Fund and its timely recommendations for more focus and funding for primary care. 

"GP teams are stretched to our limits as demand for our services rises but we have fewer fully-qualified, full-time equivalent GPs than we did five years ago. We now have an eye watering 2,290 patients per doctor and are really feeling the strain. We share our patients’ frustration when they struggle to access the safe, timely and appropriate care they need – and key to addressing this is ensuring that general practice has the resource and people it needs. 

“There is a widespread ambition to move more care into the community where it is more cost-effective, and it’s pivotal that funding follows patients, but that’s not what we are seeing. We need to turn this around. Our recent manifesto outlines seven solutions that all major political parties can adopt to safeguard the future of general practice, including increasing the share of the NHS budget it receives, so that GPs and our teams can deliver our patients the care they deserve. With an election on the horizon, all parties need to heed this report and invest in 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.