General practice must be funded without cuts to hospital resources, says BMA

by BMA media office

Press release from the BMA

Location: England
Published: Tuesday 9 July 2024
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Responding to news that the Government plans to divert significant amounts of funding from hospitals to general practice, Dr David Wrigley, deputy chair of GPC England at the BMA, said:

“The Government’s commitment to reversing years of inadequate funding in general practice in England will be transformative for patient care, and no doubt comes as a great reassurance to many overworked and undervalued GPs and practice staff.

“General practice is broken. We have lost the equivalent of 1,715 full-time, fully qualified GPs since 2015, and our teams are delivering an average of 1.45 million appointments a day for just 30p a day for every patient registered with us. That’s less than the cost of an apple.

“We applaud Mr Streeting’s ambition to shift more NHS care into the community, but hospitals need funding just as desperately as general practice does. Hospitals are under extreme financial pressure, with many being left with no option but to implement recruitment freezes despite record waiting lists. Diverting money away from them isn’t solving the overall problem – the NHS as a whole needs to be properly resourced. Just 6% of the overall budget is guaranteed for general practice, and we want to understand how Mr Streeting plans to boost that without cutting hospital funding.

“It’s a certainty that investing in general practice will benefit the entire nation in the long-term, and we look forward to working closely with Mr Streeting to map out how this can be done most effectively. We also hope to discuss other, more immediate, solutions that GPC England has suggested to support general practice, such as streamlining existing funding into the core contract to ensure practices can keep their doors open and care for their communities.”

ENDS

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.


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