GP service under 'severe threat of extinction', says top doctor

The Royal College of General Practitioners (RGCP) said the critical state of general practice is already affecting patient care.

GP services are under "severe threat of extinction" because of a "toxic mix" of increasing workloads and smaller budgets, family doctors have warned.

The Royal College of General Practitioners (RGCP) said the critical state of general practice is already affecting patient care.

Dr Maureen Baker, chair of the RCGP, urged the Government to set aside more funding and that without it there would be a severe knock-on effect on the rest of the NHS.

"General practice as we know it is now under severe threat of extinction," she said.

"It is imploding faster than people realise and patients are already bearing the brunt of the problem.

"This will only get worse unless urgent action is taken to redress the huge and historic imbalance in funding.

"For generations, GPs have been the bedrock of the NHS and provided excellent care for patients. But we can no longer guarantee a future for general practice as our patients know it, rely on it - and love it.

"GPs are doing all they can but we are being seriously crippled by a toxic mix of increasing workloads and ever dwindling budgets, which is leaving patients waiting too long for an appointment and not receiving the time or attention they need and that GPs want to give them."

A survey commissioned by the body and conducted by ComRes found nearly two thirds of the public believe the workload carried out by GPs is a threat to the standard of care they deliver.

Two-fifths believe the waiting list for an appointment with their GP could impact their health - with a third unable to get an appointment for themselves or a family member in the same week last time they tried.

According to the poll, three out of five (60%) of the public would like to see some funding moved from other parts of the health service into general practice.

The RCGP wants to see the amount of funding set aside for general practice raise from 8.39% to 11% of the UK NHS budget by 2017.

Dr Baker said: "Cutting funding to the bone is a false economy - by investing in general practice, we are shoring up the rest of the NHS from collapse.

"We are fiddling while Rome burns and the four Governments of the UK must wake up to the critical state that general practice is now in.

"We need proper provision in the 2014/15 budget rounds right across the UK so that GPs can give their patients the care that they need. If this doesn't happen, we have grave concerns for the sustainability of the NHS."

She sited Better Care Fund in England as an important first step in tackling the general practice funding gap but that more provision is needed.

ComRes interviewed 1,007 British adults aged 18, and above, by telephone between 14-17 March 2014.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
News
Down-to-earth: Winstone isn't one for considering his 'legacy'
people
News
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sauce Recruitment: Retail Planning Manager - Home Entertainment UK

salary equal to £40K pro-rata: Sauce Recruitment: Are you available to start a...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - London - up to £40,000

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...

Recruitment Genius: Product Quality Assurance Technologist - Hardline & Electric

£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The role in this successful eco...

Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000 QA Tes...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower