Hunt vision 'will not end GP crisis', warns RCGP

Jeremy Hunt's vision for a 'radical' reform of primary care will not stop the crisis in general practice without a clear commitment to increased funding, the RCGP has warned.

Professor Clare Gerada: investment in GPs is key
Professor Clare Gerada: investment in GPs is key

In a speech at the King's Fund think tank today, the health secretary set out further details of his plans to make named GPs responsible for patient care across health and social care around the clock.

Responding to the speech, RCGP chairwoman Professor Clare Gerada said: 'We welcome the health secretary's intention to shift the focus from hospitals to primary care, which is essential if we are to restore the NHS to a sustainable footing.

'GPs are the biggest champions of many of the things to which Mr Hunt refers - care planning, continuity and taking a proactive approach. We would be keen to explore how the savings generated by GPs in reducing unplanned admissions to hospital could be ploughed back into practices and spent on more care for patients.'

She welcomed his recognition of the need for more GPs, and agreed with his plan to give practices the right to opt back into out-of-hours provision as long as they retain the option to opt out.

But Professor Gerada warned: 'While we welcome any efforts to reduce bureaucracy, we must ensure the government does not promote simplifications of the QOF as a substitute for extra resources.

'However, this speech will not end the crisis in general practice. We urgently need a clear commitment for sufficient funding to enable general practice to deliver more services for their patients.

'GPs carry out 90% of patient contacts within the NHS but receive only 9% of the budget. We are creaking under the strain of ever-increasing workloads, with dwindling resources. Eighty-five per cent of GPs think general practice has reached crisis point and 49% think they can no longer guarantee safe patient care.

'Four in five GPs are concerned that they will not be able to deliver continuity of care to vulnerable older people - identified by Mr Hunt as a top priority.

'We urge Mr Hunt to be bolder in recognising the need for a shift in NHS expenditure - so that general practice receives its fair share of NHS funding and GPs can deliver the care that our patients need and deserve.'

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

Abusive graffiti daubed on side of GP practice in Bristol

Abusive graffiti daubed on side of GP practice in Bristol

GPs at a practice in Bristol arrived at work this week to find abusive graffiti daubed...

GP capacity hit hard as 60% lost colleagues to self-isolation in past fortnight

GP capacity hit hard as 60% lost colleagues to self-isolation in past fortnight

More than three in five GPs say they or clinical colleagues have been forced to self-isolate...

GPs feel like 'boiling frogs' as abuse over face-to-face appointments continues

GPs feel like 'boiling frogs' as abuse over face-to-face appointments continues

GPs are continuing to face unkindness, verbal abuse and complaints - leaving staff...

GPs place first orders from government flu jab reserve as £12m support fund rolled out

GPs place first orders from government flu jab reserve as £12m support fund rolled out

GP practices can start ordering flu vaccine from an 8m-dose government stockpile...

Quarter of government's 8m-dose flu stockpile is vaccine granted temporary approval

Quarter of government's 8m-dose flu stockpile is vaccine granted temporary approval

A vaccine yet to be licensed in the UK accounts for more than a quarter of the 8m...

GPs report drop in older patients coming forward with cancer symptoms

GPs report drop in older patients coming forward with cancer symptoms

More than half of GPs say numbers of older patients coming forward with cancer symptoms...