Latest GP data shows tough winter in general practice, says College Chair

Commenting on the latest NHS GP workforce and workload data, Professor Kamila Hawthorne, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “Today’s data shows what a tough winter it’s been in general practice, and we know from what our members on the frontline are telling us, they continue to face intense workload and workforce pressures.

“Almost 30 million patient consultations were delivered by GPs and our teams in January, 6% more than the same month in 2019, with more than 45% of these on the same day they were booked. GPs and our teams are going above and beyond to ensure patients receive timely and appropriate care, but they are doing so with 843 fewer fully-qualified, full time equivalent GPs than in 2019 – a figure that continues to fall.

“Month on month the data tells the same story. This isn’t sustainable, it’s leading to access and safety issues for patients, and it’s causing GPs to burn out and leave the profession earlier than they planned to. It’s high time the Government recognised the pressures facing general practice, and the impact this is having on both patients and the general practice workforce, and acted to address them.

“The College is calling on Government to implement a bold new recruitment and retention strategy that goes beyond the target of 6,000 GPs pledged in its election manifesto, as well as significant investment in our IT systems and premises, and urgent action to cut bureaucracy so that we have more time to deliver care to the growing numbers of patients who need it.”

Further information

Actual appointment figures have been replaced by estimated figures to provide a more accurate representation of workload data.

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7633

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.