RCGP Scotland comment on the Cabinet Secretary for NHS Recovery, Health and Social Care's statement on winter planning

Commenting on this afternoon’s Ministerial Statement on Planning for Winter 2023-24 and Ongoing Resilience Across Health and Social Care, Joint Chair of RCGP Scotland Dr Chris Williams said:

“Once again general practice feels culturally and systematically neglected in the planning for the winter surge. Priority one demands and expectations, including for mental health and care in the community which GPs struggle to deliver year-round in the current pressures, are laid at our door without recognition, let alone resource. 

"A focus on emergency care, while critical, must be paired with an understanding of the fundamental role of primary care. For the majority of patients, their care lies in general practice. Hospital at Home is a small part of that, and it is disappointing not to see the additional funding pots go to the many, or the most vulnerable. 

“RCGP Scotland has engaged with the Scottish Government, NHS Scotland, and Scottish Parliament to ease the burden on GP practices in winter, but the Cabinet Secretary’s ‘whole system approach’ has neglected one of the fundamental building blocks of the NHS.

“As well as our fears for our patients’ experiences, our concern now is how this winter will play out for the health and wellbeing of the healthcare staff in general practice.” 

Further information

Media requests to Angus Gould, Policy and Public Relations Officer RCGP Scotland
Tel: 07808 795493

Notes to editor

RCGP Scotland represents a network of around 5,000 doctors in Scotland aiming to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standard of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on resources, education, training, research and clinical standards.