RCGP demands emergency investment for GPs at 'breaking point'

The RCGP is demanding an emergency package of additional investment for general practice as its latest poll of GPs found a profession at 'breaking point'.

Prof Gerada: 'GPs are grappling with a 'double whammy' of spiralling workloads and dwindling resources.'
Prof Gerada: 'GPs are grappling with a 'double whammy' of spiralling workloads and dwindling resources.'

Four-fifths of GPs are concerned that it will become increasingly difficult to deliver continuity of care to vulnerable elderly people, according to the poll.

It also found that more than 80% of GPs said that they now have insufficient resources to provide high quality patient care. Nearly half (47%) revealed that they had cut back on the range of services they provide for their patients.

A total of 39% of respondents to the ComRes poll also said they had cut practice staff and over half had experienced difficulty recruiting and retaining GPs.

Over 70% forecast longer waiting times for GP appointments within the next two years.

RCGP chairwoman Professor Clare Gerada said: 'The results of our survey paint a bleak picture for patients, the profession and the future of general practice. GPs are grappling with a 'double whammy' of spiralling workloads and dwindling resources, and big cracks are now starting to appear in the care and services that we can deliver for our patients.

'The profession is now at breaking point and we do not have the capacity to take on any more work, without the extra funding and resources to back it up.

'We must have an emergency package of additional investment for general practice to protect GP services and protect our patients from even deeper cuts to their care and longer waiting times.'

ComRes interviewed 206 GPs online - 170 from England, 21 from Scotland, 9 from Wales and 6 from Northern ireland between 7 and 9 August 2013.

* Should GPs at 'breaking point' receive emergency investment from CCGs?

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