30 December 2019

RCGP Response to J Meirion Thomas in The Daily Telegraph

The RCGP has responded to J Meirion Thomas' article ‘Part-time GPs are a symptom of failure' in the Daily Telegraph on Thursday 19 December. An abridged version of this letter has been published today.


The current model of general practice is not 'broken' as J Meirion Thomas suggests (Part-time GPs are a symptom of failure, 19 Dec) in his latest attack on the most popular part of the NHS.

The UK model of general practice is tried, tested and the envy of other countries. It is valued by patients, alleviates pressure on hospital colleagues and keeps the NHS sustainable. To keep it working effectively, we need to look after the after the doctors who deliver patient care.

Doctors across the NHS are stressed – not just GPs – and flexible working helps guard against this, as well as attracting more people into medicine.

Mr Thomas makes some valid points – we do need better integration between primary and secondary care, and we are already expanding our practice teams and exploring new ways to deliver continuity. But we will always need the expert skills of GPs – we need more of them, and my College will not apologise for continuing to bang that drum.

Professor Martin Marshall
Chair, Royal College of General Practitioners
London, NW1

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.