‘Demand for care is outstripping our resources’ says College Chair

Professor Kamila Hawthorne, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, has responded to the latest NHS Digital data on general practice workforce and GP appointments. Professor Hawthorne said:

"These latest figures show GPs and their teams continue to work harder than ever, under highly difficult circumstances, to ensure their patients receive the vital care and services they need. It is clear that intense workloads are now the new normal and that without immediate action to alleviate the pressures on primary care, the future of the profession – and the care we’re able to deliver to patients - is uncertain.

"GPs and our teams delivered almost 26 million appointments in December – 1.7 million more than in December 2019, yet with 642 fewer fully qualified, full-time equivalent GPs. More than 45% of these were carried out on the same day they were booked, with almost 70% delivered in person. 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 260 more patients than they were six years ago.

"Demand for our care and services continues to outstrip our resources. Without significant investment and further efforts to increase the GP workforce, especially in retaining GPs, these pressures will only intensify. 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.