Dr Maureen Baker RCGP chairwoman - Supporting GPs to put patients first

I would like to begin by thanking my predecessor Professor Clare Gerada for her hard work and commitment. She achieved some admirable results and while our approach may be different, our passion for, and commitment to, general practice is shared.

I started my term with the launch of 'Put Patients First: Back General Practice', our new campaign to secure more NHS funding for general practice.

An RCGP poll told us that 46% of GPs are working 11-hour days and 55% conduct 60 patient contacts in a single day. This is having a dramatic impact on patient care, with 80% of GPs surveyed saying they can no longer guarantee safe patient care - and more than 70% predicting longer waiting times in the next two years.

General practice carries out 90% of NHS contacts for just 8.4% of the NHS budget in the UK, a decrease of one-fifth since 2005. It is patients who are receiving the raw deal as GPs and practice staff struggle to meet increasing demand.

We're calling on governments across the UK for a modest increase of just one percentage point per year, taking us from 8.4% to 11% of the NHS budget by 2017. With this, we could transform patient care and offer shorter waiting times, more flexible opening hours and better continuity of care.

We've had some excellent media coverage and #putpatientsfirst is creating interesting debate. There are many ways to support the campaign:

  • Write to your MP and encourage your patients to do the same. There is an excellent tool on the website to make this as easy as entering your postcode and clicking a couple of buttons.
  • Share your stories with us. How have funding cuts affected your practice and your patients? What could you do with even a small increase in funding?
  • Host a visit by an MP at your practice - details on how to set this up are on the website.
  • Follow us on Twitter, retweet our posts and like us on Facebook.

I want to ensure you have the resources to meet the challenges ahead and provide the best possible care. To make this a reality, we need your support.

  • Dr Baker is a GP in Lincoln.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Coronavirus: Key guidance GPs need to know about COVID-19

Coronavirus: Key guidance GPs need to know about COVID-19

GPonline provides an overview of the key guidance relating to coronavirus, including...

GPs told to restore patient activity to pre-pandemic levels in new NHS England guidance

GPs told to restore patient activity to pre-pandemic levels in new NHS England guidance

GP practices have been instructed to increase activity, 'make rapid progress' on...

How to deal with patient requests for face covering exemption letters

How to deal with patient requests for face covering exemption letters

MDU medico-legal advisers Dr Ellie Mein provides advice for GPs on dealing with patients...

Should remote consultations be the default after COVID-19?

Should remote consultations be the default after COVID-19?

Health secretary Matt Hancock has suggested that general practice should follow a...

Government changes self isolation rules for GPs returning from abroad

Government changes self isolation rules for GPs returning from abroad

GPs and other healthcare professionals in England will now be required to self isolate...

GPs urge caution over health secretary's push for 'all' consultations to be remote

GPs urge caution over health secretary's push for 'all' consultations to be remote

GPs have accused the health secretary of failing to understand ‘the importance of...