‘Part time’ working in general practice often means working longer than full time hours, says College

Please see below our reaction to the Daily Mail’s reporting of fewer appointments being delivered in general practice on Fridays.

Professor Martin Marshall, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: "To keep general practice working safely and effectively for patients, we need to look after the doctors who deliver their care. Far from reducing the availability and quality of patient care, flexible working, which allows GPs to work 'less than full time', enables highly-trained family doctors to remain in the workforce, delivering the care that our patients need and deserve. Nevertheless, working 'part time' in general practice often means working what would usually be considered full-time, or longer, and will likely include many additional hours of paperwork on top of patient appointments. This leaves GPs burning out and we are seeing high numbers of doctors leaving the profession as it stands.

"This is why we've been urgently calling for progress on the 2019 Conservative manifesto target of 6000 more full time equivalent (FTE) GPs in the next three years. We are also calling for a system-wide programme to eradicate bureaucratic burdens and unnecessary workload, to prevent GP burnout and allow GPs more time to care for patients.

"It is down to individual practices to allocate their services in line with their team's capacity and their understanding of the needs of their patient population.”

Further information

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RCGP Press office – 020 3188 7633/7494/7574
Out of hours: 020 3188 7659 

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 53,000 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.