College’s latest retaliation against media criticism of GPs

College Chair Martin Marshall has another letter published in the Telegraph today, hitting back at derogatory articles about GPs by two of its regular columnists.

This is the third letter defending the profession that the College has had published in the national media over the past week - two in the Telegraph and one in the Times. 

We  will continue to challenge unfair criticism of GPs in the media and elsewhere, while continuing our calls on the four governments of the UK to invest in general practice - including the recruitment of thousands more GPs and practice staff, and initiatives to retain existing GPs and prevent them from burning out.

You can read our letter in full here:

We have every sympathy with patients facing long waiting times for a GP appointment - but we are surprised that fellow doctors want to criticise general practice when they clearly know so little about the pressures that it is facing.

As experienced clinicians themselves, J Meirion Thomas and James Le Fanu will know that an effective NHS depends on strong general practice.

Yet successive governments have allowed more than a decade of underinvestment in our service. The number of GPs has declined while our workload has increased in volume and complexity and the GP workforce is finding it increasingly difficult to guarantee even safe care to an ageing and growing population, never mind the personal service that patients want to experience.

We must see urgent progress on the current Government’s 2019 election manifesto pledge of 6000 additional full-time equivalent GPs and 26,000 practice staff over the next three years if general practice is to have a future and patients are to have a family doctor.

Demoralised and exhausted GPs don’t have the luxury of newspaper columns where they can vent their spleen about everything that’s wrong with the system in which they are trying to work.

They deserve moral support, not cheap jibes and unfair accusations from doctors-turned-writers who should know better.

Further information

(For media only)

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.