It is not too late to turn this dire situation around, says College Chair
Publication date: 26 May 2023
Responding to the latest GP workforce data from NHS Digital, Professor Kamila Hawthorne, Chair of the of GPs said: “GPs and our teams are working incredibly hard to deliver safe, timely and appropriate care for our patients, in the face of unsustainable workforce and workload pressures.
“We are delivering millions more appointments than before the pandemic, with almost half offered on the day of booking - but with 898 fewer fully-qualified, full-time equivalent GPs than we did in 2019. In some areas, GPs are now responsible for more than 2,500 patients.
"We share our patients' frustration when they can't access our care – this is not the fault of hard-working GP teams, but due to decades of underfunding and poor workforce planning. We simply do not have enough GPs or other members of the practice team to meet patient demand that is growing in both volume and complexity.
“It is not too late to turn this dire situation around. The long-awaited NHS workforce plan is the opportunity to make sure general practice if fit for the future. We need to see a bold new plan from the Government that goes beyond the target of 6,000 more GPs it pledged in its election manifesto, including revitalised recruitment and retention schemes. The bottom line is, we need thousands more GPs - and the numbers are going in the wrong direction."
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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.