9 August 2018

GP Patient Survey Results 'Testament to the Great Efforts' of Practice Teams, Says RCGP

Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: "Hardworking GPs and our teams will be so encouraged to hear that despite the extreme resource and workforce pressures they are working under, 95.6% of patients have confidence and trust in the healthcare professional they saw.

"This truly is testament to the great efforts and dedication to patient care being shown by GP practice teams across the country. It highlights the fact that patients value general practice greatly, and that urgent steps need to be taken to shore up our service, so that we achieve similar high levels of satisfaction in future years.

"GPs and our teams are performing well, in the best interests of patients, in incredibly difficult circumstances. Our workload has escalated in recent years, both in volume and complexity, but the share of the NHS budget our service receives is less than it was a decade ago, and GP numbers are falling.

"But patients are still waiting too long for a GP appointment, and too many are not getting an appointment when they want one. As well as being frustrating for patients, and GPs, this is concerning as it means patients might not be getting the treatment they need in the early stages of their condition – and their conditions will potentially become more serious.

"The plain truth is that existing GPs and our teams are working to absolute capacity and we just don't have enough GPs to offer enough appointments. Health Secretary Matt Hancock has identified Workforce and Prevention as two of his top priorities - if he is serious about tackling the GP workforce crisis and keeping patients out of hospital where care is far costlier, it is essential that the government invests properly in general practice.

"General practice is the lifeblood of the health service – and today's survey results show that patients value our service highly. The College believes that at least £14.5bn a year is necessary for general practice – an extra £2.5bn a year on top of what has already been promised by NHS England as part of the GP Forward View – so that we can continue to deliver the care our patients need and deserve."

Further Information
RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7574/7575/7633/7410
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659

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.