11 February 2017

Surgery Times Don't Give the Full Story of What's Happening in General Practice, Says RCGP

Responding to figures on GP surgery opening hours published in the Daily Telegraph today, Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said:

“These figures don’t give the full story of what’s happening in general practice – they only take into account planned surgery times, not the times that the practice is actually open and providing care.

“Obviously, a large part of a GP’s work is seeing patients in face to face consultations, but there is a lot more involved in day to day general practice – and just because actual surgeries aren’t taking place, it doesn’t mean patient care isn’t being delivered via telephone or online consultations, or by making home visits.

“There are also vital administrative duties, such as hospital referrals, arranging prescriptions, responding to requests for reports and information, and processing test results that need to be dealt with during the working day, which is growing ever longer for GPs and our teams due to the intense pressures we face as we try to cope with increasing patient demand and complexity.

“GPs across the country are working incredibly hard to deliver 1.3m patient consultations every day – recent research has shown that our workload has risen 16% over the last seven years, yet funding for general practice has decreased, and the number of GPs has not risen in step.

“We urgently need the pledges made in NHS England’s GP Forward View – for £2.4bn extra a year for general practice and 5000 more GPs by 2020 – to be implemented in full, so that we can continue to provide the care our patients need in a way that is safe for both them, GPs and our teams.”

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.