22 July 2014

RCGP Response to NICE Guidelines on Lipid Modification

RCGP Chair says new guidance has major implications for patients and for general practice. GPs and practice teams do their best for patients, but workload implications of new guidance are immense

RCGP Chair Dr Maureen Baker said:

“This new guidance has major implications for patients and for general practice.

“GPs and practice teams want to do their best for patients, in line with emerging evidence, but the workload implications of this new guidance are immense and it is difficult to see how practices will be able to put this into operation unless they are resourced to do so.

“The profession is already heaving under the pressure of existing workloads and struggling to cope with soaring numbers of patients who are presenting with multiple and increasingly complex needs.

“At least 27m patients will already have to wait more than a week to see a GP this year and 84% of GPs are worried their workloads are so high that they might miss something serious in a patient.

“Over 90% of patient contacts in the NHS are dealt with in general practice and GPs in England are already seeing 40 million more patients than they were five years ago - yet funding is at an all time low of 8.39%.

“General practice is the most efficient and cost-effective way of providing patient care.

“By treating more people with cardiovascular disease in their local communities, we have the potential to save the NHS a fortune by avoiding hospital admissions and surgical interventions for heart disease.

“But GPs are at breaking point and we cannot be expected to keep on doing more and more without more funding and more GPs.

“That  is why we are calling on the four governments of the UK to increase investment in general practice to 11% of the NHS budget by 2017.

“This would mean we could recruit more doctors, and offer more appointments and longer appointments, so that our patients could get the care they need and that GPs want to give them.”

Further Information

RCGP Press office - 020 3188 7574/7575/7576
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 44,000 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.