GP Forward View: RCGP hails 'most significant GP deal since 1960s'

RCGP chairwoman Dr Maureen Baker said the funding package announced on Thursday for general practice was the 'most significant announcement for our profession since the 1960s', as GP leaders welcomed the GP Forward View package unveiled by NHS England.

Both the BMA and the RCGP backed the deal, with GPC chairman Dr Chaand Nagpaul calling it 'a significant and comprehensive package of proposals to support general practice'.

Dr Baker said: 'This is the most significant announcement for our profession since the 1960s. For too long GPs - and our members - have been undervalued, underfunded, and not recognised for the essential role we play in keeping the health service sustainable and safe for patients. We genuinely hope that today's news marks a turning point for general practice.'

Dr Baker said the RCGP had been 'the leading voice' in flagging up resource and workforce pressures on GPs, and demanding reform.

Read the General Practice Forward View in full

'We have been calling for 11% of the NHS budget, thousands more GPs, and time for GPs to do the job they signed up for - delivering patient care. Today’s announcement is a huge and important step in the right direction, and if implemented correctly, our profession, the wider NHS, and most importantly, our patients will reap the benefits.

'Crucially, it will send a loud and clear message to those about to embark on a career in general practice, and medical students considering it, that their future as a GP will be attractive and secure.

'General practice is the foundation on which our health service is built. GPs and our teams deal with 90% of all NHS patient contacts, and the recognition of this – and a viable General Practice Forward View announced today - promises to ensure that our service will continue to keep the health service sustainable by alleviating pressures across the NHS, and keep our patients safe.'

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA GP committee chair, said: 'The General Practice Forward View represents a significant and comprehensive package of proposals to support general practice both in the immediate and longer term, the most that we have seen since 2004.

GP funding

'This has followed strong lobbying from the BMA’s GP committee over the past three years, and more recently from the Special Conference of LMCs. Many of the proposals have taken on board GPC’s specific recommendations in our urgent prescription for general practice.

'This includes our proposals for increased recurring investment, with over £2bn additional funding every year going into general practice, the introduction of a practice resilience programme, a commitment to address rising indemnity costs, the need for an expansion of the workforce, along with initiatives to encourage GP retention, and support to reduce unnecessary burdens on general practice. These are vital to ensuring GPs can deliver high quality patient care today and in the future.

'Crucially, NHS England have committed to investment which will reverse the unacceptable decline in general practice funding. This is a vital step as the proportion of resource in general practice will reach 11% of the NHS budget and beyond. We see this as a floor, not a ceiling, and believe that NHS England must ensure that resources follow where care is being provided going forward.

'It is vital that GPs and staff see tangible delivery against these commitments, so that the words are translated into action. GP practices must receive the immediate and urgent support needed, as well as the infrastructure for a sustainable future, which will attract younger doctors to become GPs, and enable existing GPs to remain working.

'As the representative voice of every day GPs, the BMA’s GP committee will work with NHS England to influence delivery of these commitments. We have secured the creation of a delivery board to monitor progress which is an important step.

'The BMA’s GP committee will continue its dialogue with NHS England to see our wider ideas as stated in urgent prescription for general practice realised, in what we hope will become a turning point for general practice.'

GP Forward View: Full coverage

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