Funding gap threatens longer GP waits, warns RCGP

Patients face longer waiting times to see a GP this winter as the effects of a £10bn funding gap take hold, the RCGP has warned.

Dr Maureen Baker: GP waiting times will rise (photo: James Bolt)
Dr Maureen Baker: GP waiting times will rise (photo: James Bolt)

Research by the college identified an 8.3% fall in real-terms funding for general practice between 2005/6 and 2010/11, while overall NHS funding increased by 18%.

The research found that GPs now conduct 90% of NHS contacts for £2.4bn less each year than would have been the case if funding had kept pace with investment in secondary care.

New RCGP chairwoman Dr Maureen Baker said the ‘deep-seated and long-term’ funding shift from primary to secondary care was starving general practice.

In a college poll, 71% of GPs said they expected waiting times to worsen over the next two years due to the funding decrease.

The RCGP and the National Association for Patient Participation are calling for general practice to receive 11% of the overall NHS budget by 2017, an increase of 1% a year.

Dr Baker said: ‘The vast majority of GPs think that the decline in funding for general practice will regretfully lead to longer waiting times for patients over the next two years. This lengthening of waiting times is a continuous process, and will inevitably worsen this winter as temperatures plummet.

‘GPs want to offer their patients faster and more convenient access but are being held back from doing so by a chronic lack of resources. The government must take urgent action to pump more resources into general practice so that family doctors can treat patients in the community, thereby taking the pressure off hospitals.’

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

UK Houses of Parliament

Scrapping partnership model will not solve crisis in general practice, say NHS leaders

Scrapping the partnership model and moving to a salaried service will not solve the...

Dr Jackie Applebee

Doctors tell BMA to pull GP practices out of PCNs by 2023

The BMA has been told to organise the withdrawal of GP practices from PCNs by 2023...

GP consultation

3 in 10 doctors fear being blamed or facing legal action after admitting mistakes

Three in 10 doctors are worried about the repercussions of admitting to clinical...

BMA House entrance

Only 55% of Romney review recommendations on BMA sexism fully implemented

Only just over half of recommendations from the 2019 Romney review into sexism in...

BMA House entrance

GPs face pension tax penalties worth 'half their post-tax income'

Rapid swings in inflation could leave GPs facing pension tax penalties worth 'half...

Banknotes

BMA to demand significant pay rises to combat 15 years of real-term cuts

The BMA is set to demand significant pay rises for all doctors to undo over a decade...