New figures today show GPs and their teams are working harder than ever, according to the Royal College of GPs.
Chair Prof Kamila Hawthorne said NHS data clearly showed that need for our GPs’ services continued to spiral – but there were still fewer qualified, full-time equivalent GPs than before the pandemic.
She called for practical action to address this.
‘GPs and our teams had their busiest November on record last year, delivering more than 31m appointments – a 30% increase on 2019, yet with 646 fewer fully qualified, full-time equivalent GPs.
‘Almost 43% of these were delivered on the day they were booked, and almost 70% were conducted in person. The average number of patients per GP in England is now an eye watering 2,290, meaning each GP is responsible for 147 more patients than in December 2019.’
Prof Hawthorne said without significant investment in general practice and efforts ramped up to increase the GP workforce, especially into retaining GPs for longer, meeting the increasing demand for care would be ‘an incredible challenge.’
The College’s manifesto outlines seven ‘solutions’ – including’ appropriate resource allocation’ for recruitment and retention.
4 JANUARY 2024