RCGP responds to the findings of the latest GP patient survey

Responding to the latest GP patient survey from NHS England, Dr Michael Mulholland, Honorary Secretary of the Royal College of GPs, said: “The latest findings from the GP patient survey reflect an over-stretched and over-burdened service, with hardworking staff managing to provide a positive experience for patients despite facing intense workload and workforce pressures. 

"The vast majority of patients had confidence and trust in the highly qualified professionals they encountered at their last appointment - and it is reassuring to see that in over 90% of cases patients felt that their needs were met. This is testament to the fact that, regardless of pressures, GPs and their teams are doing an excellent job for their patients. 

"It is always difficult to hear when patients report unsatisfactory experiences or have difficulties accessing our services. Yet we do share their frustrations - GPs and our teams want to be able to deliver safe, timely and appropriate care for their patients. But we’re delivering millions more appointments every month, but with 930 fewer GPs compared to 2019.

"When general practice is under pressure, and through no fault of hardworking GPs and their teams, patients are finding it difficult to access our care. This does reverberate across the NHS. GP teams make the vast majority of NHS patient contacts, and in doing so alleviate pressure across the NHS, including in A&E. But for this to work, general practice must be properly resourced and properly staffed - and currently that is not the case.

"We need to see the foundations of the recently announced long-term workforce plan laid now, alongside significant investment for hugely improved retention initiatives - curbing the rate at which GPs leave the profession and enticing the next roster of young GPs to bolster the workforce. There are many aspects of general practice which are clearly working well for patients. Our priority should be to alleviate the pressures on GP teams, allowing them to do what they do best - caring for their patients."

Further information

RCGP Press office: 0203 188 7659

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.