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RCGP: 20,000 more staff needed for seven-day working

13 January 2014

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At least 20,000 additional practice staff would have to be hired for the government’s seven-day working plans to work, the chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) has claimed. 

According to Dr Maureen baker, the plans would also require an additional £1 billion of funding. 

In an interview with Sky News, Dr Baker said: “If we were to move to seven days a week we would need 10,000 more GPs. We would probably need the same number of practice nurses and a proportionate number of support staff. 

“We know our colleagues are working 11 to 12-hour days, and that is really difficult to do day after day when it is a job you need to be on top form for. They are feeling pressurised and besieged and looking for a bit of respite.” 

Dr Baker said she fears the whole of the NHS could become “unsustainable” because of the lack of proper investment in general practice. 

A Department of Health spokesperson said: “We have made £50 million available to help innovative GPs to extend their services and stay open longer – either on their own or by working with other local practices. We have also asked Health Education England to see how we can get 50% of medical students to become GPs.”