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RCGP: General practice is at ‘breaking point’

19 August 2013

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Nearly half (47%) of GPs have had to cut back on the range of services provided for patients because of funding issues, a Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) survey shows. 

Over 70% of GPs believe there will be longer waiting times for appointments within the next two years because of funding cutes. 

The poll showed that practice staff had to be cut (39%), and over half had found it difficult to recruit and retain new GPs. 

Four in five GPs were concerned it will become increasingly difficult to deliver continuity of care for vulnerable elderly people. 

The majority of GPs polled (72%) said the amount of frontline patient care they do has been reduced because of the new clinical commissioning responsibilities. 

RCGP chair Dr 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.

“We are working our hardest to make sure that patients are not affected but the status quo is no longer an option. 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.”