9 March 2016

RCGP Response to PAC Report on Access to General Practice in England

Dr Maureen Baker, Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners said:

“We are pleased that the Public Accounts Committee have listened to the College and recognised the enormous resource and workforce pressures currently facing our profession.

“This report echoes what we have been saying for a long time through our Put patients first: Back general practice campaign - that urgent measures need to be taken to reverse declining investment in our service and address the recruitment crisis in general practice.

“GPs and our teams are making an estimated 370m patient consultations a year – 60m more than five years ago – to meet the increasing demand of our growing and ageing population, yet the number of family doctors over this period has remained relatively stagnant.

“This toxic mix of increased demand and plummeting resources is leading many established GPs to leave the profession, and not enough medical students are choosing a career in general practice to take their place.

“Our patients value general practice and they want more of it – where they live should not dictate their ability to access our services. 

“It is essential that initiatives are urgently implemented to 'recruit retain and return' thousands more GPs and practice staff – as outlined in the 10 point plan to build the GP workforce that we launched last year with NHS England, Health Education England and the BMA - to deliver safe patient care right across the country.

“General practice is the bedrock of the health service - we keep the NHS sustainable by alleviating pressures on hospitals, and we keep our patients safe. But in the current circumstances our profession is struggling to survive.

“NHS England have announced an upcoming suite of measures to alleviate the short term pressures on general practice. This report today adds impetus to how necessary and critical this is.

"In the longer term we are calling on the Government to increase investment into general practice to 11% of the NHS budget, and for thousands more GPs over the course of this parliament so that we can continue to deliver the safe care our patients want, need and deserve."

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.