GPs need support to manage sustained rises in need for care, highlights consultation data

Responding to the latest NHS Digital GP consultation data, Professor Martin Marshall, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “Today's figures show that GPs and our teams are continuing to work flat out to deliver more consultations with patients than in the same month pre-pandemic, with almost half of these delivered on the same day. 

“They show that as we move out of the pandemic, general practice care and services are being delivered in a variety of ways, reflecting the differing health needs and preferences of our patients. In person consulting is and will remain core to general practice, and the majority of consultations are being delivered in this way - but good, safe and appropriate care can also be delivered remotely, and we know many patients find this way of accessing care convenient. Indeed, recent research by the Health Foundation study that showed only 10% of patients specifically requested a face-to-face appointment.

“Over the last six months, the numbers of appointments delivered in general practice every month has exceeded pre-pandemic levels. This sustained increase in patient need for our services and care is not being matched with the necessary resources and staff numbers to safely and sustainably cope. The government must make urgent progress on their manifesto pledge of an additional 6,000 GPs and 26,000 members of the wider practice team by 2024, to ensure general practice has the workforce capacity to care for the growing number of patients that need it both now and in the future.”

Further information

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Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 52,000 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.