BMA responds to GP appointment data and RCGP action plan

by BMA media team

Press release from the BMA

Location: England
Published: Thursday 29 July 2021
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Responding to the latest GP appointment data for England and the Royal College of General Practitioners’ ‘General Practice in Crisis’ report, BMA GP committee chair Dr Richard Vautrey, said:

“Practices continue to be under immense pressure as they strive to meet the growing health needs of people from within their communities. Just today, new statistics show that practices in England booked 3.5 million more appointments in June than they did the month before, and 3.6 million more than they did in the same month 2 years ago, long before the onset of the pandemic.

“On top of this GPs and their teams continue to play a leading role in the vaccinations campaign.

“In the context of this growing demand, a large backlog of patients across the NHS who did not receive the care they needed throughout the pandemic, and looking forward to what looks to be an incredibly difficult winter, general practice is in clear need of support.

“The BMA has been clear that Government pledges on increasing the GP workforce need to be realised so that we have enough family doctors to meet the needs of their patients, while unnecessary bureaucracy preventing staff focusing on patient care must be eradicated for good. It’s good to see many of our own calls therefore echoed in today’s report from the RCGP, and we stand together as one profession in pushing for change.

“Even before Covid-19 practices were understaffed and under-resourced, and the pandemic has only exacerbated the severe pressures felt by GPs and their colleagues, with many being pushed to breaking point. Yet NHSEI has repeatedly, though its actions, failed to grasp the need to provide urgent support to general practice.

“The appointment of both a new Health Secretary and NHS chief in England now provide a perfect opportunity for both the Government and NHSEI to demonstrate their commitment to general practice through this critical stage of pandemic recovery and beyond.”

Notes to editors

The BMA is a professional association and trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.