17 June 2018

PM Announcement 'Welcome and Encouraging' But General Practice Must Receive A Substantial Share, Says RCGP

Responding to Prime Minister Theresa May's announcement of £384m extra a week, in real terms, for the NHS by 2023, Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said:

"The Prime Minister's announcement recognises the exceptional work that our national health service has done over the last 70 years, in the best interests of our patients, and is welcome confirmation that the Government is committed to continuing this.

"Her pledge represents a significant amount of money and this is certainly encouraging. It is essential that as more details of her long term plan are announced, general practice is recognised for the vital role it plays in delivering safe, effective patient care in the community, and keeping the entire NHS sustainable.

"The 3.4% real terms increase in investment is to be welcomed. However, it still falls short of the 4% that the Institute of Fiscal Studies recently claimed is necessary for a health service fit for the future, and which the RCGP, and other members of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, representing doctors right across medicine, has supported - so it is vital that any new investment is used wisely, and in the long-term benefits of patients and the entire NHS.

"General practice provides the sustainable pillars for the NHS - but whilst our workload is escalating in both volume and complexity, the share of the budget we receive is less than it was a decade ago, and our workforce is actually declining.
"As a result, GPs and our teams are working under conditions that are simply not safe for ourselves, our teams, or our patients. This is unsustainable and we call on the Prime Minister to specifically address this in the detail of her plans.

"The NHS is a source of national pride, and the envy of the world. It turns 70 this year and its achievements in delivering patient care to anyone who needs it, regardless of their ability to pay, have been astounding. The RCGP believes that the NHS can survive another 70 years, and beyond, but that will depend on a robust general practice service - the Prime Minister has the power to ensure this, and we urge her, in the strongest possible terms, to use it."

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.