The bottom line is that we need more GPs, says College Chair

Professor Kamila Hawthorne, Chair of the Royal College of GPs said: “These latest figures show how GPs and our teams are continuing to working exceptionally hard in the face of intense workload and workforce pressures to ensure our patients receive safe, timely and appropriate care.

"Demand for our services is growing, both in volume and complexity, and GP teams are delivering millions of appointments per month – but we are doing this with 930 fewer GPs compared to December 2019.

"Unfortunately, these problems are decades in the making - in some areas a qualified GP is now responsible for more than 2,500 patients. Practices that serve communities with the greatest health needs, such as the elderly and populations with health inequalities are particularly over-stretched.

"We know that when GPs do leave the profession earlier than planned, it is often due to their own burnout, low morale and a sense of moral distress at not being able to offer patients access to much-needed care. College surveys show that matters are only likely to get worse, with up to 22,000 fully qualified GPs considering quitting in the next five years.

"The bottom line is that we need many more GPs, but it’s not too late to turn this dire situation around. The long-awaited NHS workforce plan will be a key opportunity to do this. We need to see a bold new plan from the Government that goes beyond the target of 6,000 more GPs it pledged in its election manifesto, while also revitalising retention schemes to encourage excellent, hardworking and dedicated GPs to remain in the profession."

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.