23 December 2019

RCGP Calls for More GPs And More Time with Patients in Response to OECD Report

Commenting on the recent OECD's recent 'Health at a Glance 2019' report, Professor Martin Marshall, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: "It's concerning that the UK has one of the lowest proportion of doctors per person in Europe - particularly in terms of those later in their careers, who are highly experienced.

"While it's unclear from these figures how many are GPs, we know from our own research that the number of patients per GP has risen over the last decade - and although we have more GPs in training that ever before, even more are leaving the profession and overall numbers are falling.

"For many GPs the pressures of dealing with escalating workloads without sufficient workforce has made the job increasingly difficult to do well. 

"The report highlights why the College's calls for at least 5000 more GPs delivering a service for patients, 5000 new GPs to be trained a year, and urgent initiatives to retain our existing workforce must be realised so that we can spend more time with our patients. 
"60% of GPs have told us they don't have enough time to adequately assess patients, and more than half think that patient safety is compromised because consultations are too short. The traditional 10-minute appointment is no longer fit for purpose, and the College is calling for standard GP appointments to be at least 15 minutes - but this will only be possible with the resources and people to deliver it.

"We must build the GP workforce and allow for additional time with patients, so that we can deliver the holistic care our patients need – achieving this is vital for the future of our profession, the wider NHS and for the care of our patients."

Further Information
RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7494/7574/7575
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 53,000 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.