Fit for the Future: a new plan for GPs and their patients
General practice is the cornerstone of the NHS, helping around 50 million people in England every year, carrying out 370 million consultations last year. So, when GPs and their patients tell us that general practice is in crisis, we should all be concerned.
In 2019, we published the Fit for the Future: A vision for general practice report (PDF file, 1.1 MB), setting out the College’s vision for the future of the profession, in which it can continue delivering world class patient care, if given the right tools, skills and investment.
Since then, the RCGP’s ‘Fit for the Future’ campaign has been calling on decision maker to commit to a bold new plan to provide GPs & their patients with the support they need.
Keep reading to find out more information about the campaign and the work we’ve been doing to represent our England-based members in Westminster.
What we're doing
Our recent survey of GPs paints a worrying picture of a service in crisis.
The Government must deliver a new support package for general practice and start to rebuild what we need to thrive in the future.
Find the latest updates on our campaign and influencing work here.
Read more about the work we do in Parliament to help secure change for general practice, and how you can get involved.
Our plan for a better future
Since we launched Fit for the Future we've published a number of reports that highlight the challenges faced by general practice and recommendations to tackle these problems.
Fit for the Future: A new plan for general practice
We are calling on politicians and decision makers with responsibility for the NHS in England to urgently commit to a bold new plan to provide GPs and patients with the support that they need.
In 2022, more than 4,600 GPs and GP trainees joined us in writing to the Health Secretary to demand that the government addresses the surging workload and workforce pressures facing GPs and their teams. These pressures are impacting the care they are able to deliver to patients and is leading to the potential mass exodus of nearly 19,000 GPs from the service in the next five years.
Our 2022 survey of RCGP members found that 39% of the GP workforce across the UK are seriously considering leaving the profession within the next five years.
Pressures will continue to intensify for those still in practice, creating a vicious cycle whereby increasing numbers of GPs continue to leave the workforce due to insurmountable pressures. Urgent action is needed to break this cycle, supporting today’s GPs to stay in practice, while we continue to train tomorrow’s GPs.
Winter 2022 was one of the most challenging yet for general practice. Without urgent action from politicians and NHS decision makers, next winter could be even worse. Our report paints a worrying picture of a service struggling under rising demands.
Our report shows that the current state of premises and digital infrastructure is preventing GPs from delivering the care that patients need, with 4 in 10 general practice staff reporting their premises are not fit for purpose. The path to a brighter future for general practice requires upgraded, modern, and well-equipped infrastructure.
International Medical Graduates Visas
Over 40% of all GP trainees are international medical graduates (IMGs) but many of them are finding that difficulties with obtaining a visa are causing them stress and anxiety. We have lobbied the UK Government to improve the visa rules for GP trainees from overseas.
Write to your MP
Write to your MP, asking them to encourage the government to address the crisis in general practice as a matter of urgency. Use the options below to send an email to your MP. There’s a template you can use, but personal stories go a long way in highlighting just how serious this crisis is.