RCGP responds to latest Lib Dem analysis of GP funding
Publication date: 13 February 2024
College Chair, Professor Kamila Hawthorne, responds to the latest analysis by the Liberal Democrats of GP funding.
Professor Kamila Hawthorne, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “This analysis shows just how cost-effective general practice is, but with mounting workloads and a GP workforce smaller than it was five years ago, it needs support more than ever. 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 642 fewer fully qualified, full-time equivalent GPs. This simply isn’t sustainable, and it’s our patients who feel the brunt the most.
“Investing in general practice alleviates pressure across the NHS, including in emergency departments. So, it is deeply frustrating to see this analysis show real terms cuts to funding at a time when there is so much strain on our service. The average number of patients per GP in England is now an eye watering 2,290. While we’re doing all we can, we share our patients’ frustration when they can’t get the safe, timely and appropriate care they need.
“This situation the result of longstanding underfunding in our service and poor workforce planning, and it needs urgent action to fix. Our recent manifesto outlines seven solutions that all major political parties can adopt to ensure that there are enough GPs to safeguard the future of general practice, including recruitment and retention, and increasing the share of the NHS budget for primary care. With an election on the horizon, all parties need to be ready to commit to investing in general practice.”
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.