7 August 2017

Labour's Analysis of GP Access Backs Up Previous College Warnings

Labour's analysis of the latest GP Patient Survey backs up previous College warnings on GP access, says Chair of the Royal College of GPs Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard.

She said: "This analysis backs up the warnings that the College has been making for some time - that as a result of years of underinvestment in general practice, our patients are finding it increasingly difficult to make a GP appointment.

"Our own analysis of the GP Patient Survey found that patients will be unable to make an appointment with a GP or practice nurse on 100m occasions by 2022 if trends continue.

"This is despite GPs and our teams making more patient consultations a year that ever before - currently over 370m - to meet escalating patient demand.

"This is a clear risk to patient safety – and must be addressed as a matter of urgency.

"But we must remember that patients can always access urgent GP care when they need to through our routine service, and the GP out of hours service.

"It certainly makes no sense to start offering extra services where there is little patient demand. We know that in many cases, practices have already had to actually stop offering extended opening hours because of a lack of patient demand for them.

"With such scarce resources for our profession and a huge shortage of GPs at the moment, the Government's focus must be on delivering more funding to offer our existing five day service - and sufficient GPs and practice team members to deliver it.

"As we reiterated in our Annual Assessment of NHS England's GP Forward View last week, the pledges of £2.4bn extra a year for our profession and 5,000 more GPs by 2020, should be the lifeline general practice, and our patients, need. This must be delivered in full and as a matter of urgency if it is to protect our profession, the wider NHS, and ensure our patients receive the care they deserve, when they need it."

Further Information

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


The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 50,000 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.