Service output data is testament to GPs, but workforce must be addressed to maintain it, says BMA

by BMA media team

Press release from the BMA

Location: UK
Published: Wednesday 13 July 2022

Responding to ONS data, which shows that UK services output grew in May 2022 with human health and social work activities growing by 2.1%, mainly because of a large rise in GP appointments, Dr Farah Jameel, chair of GPC England at the BMA, said:

“These figures are yet another example of how hard GPs and their teams are working, but also why we desperately need more resource to close the workforce gap in primary care.

“It’s clear that GP services are good value for money - GPs are not paid extra for doing more work, and yet, the number of standard GP appointments booked has substantially increased, with 24 million appointments in April 2022 jumping to a staggering 27.6 million in May.

“However, we cannot ignore the fact that this is not a sustainable way of working, and that GPs desperately need more support if they’re going to be able to carry on providing this level of care. We don’t have enough of them, and each time a GP takes on more work, they open themselves up to more stress, burn out, and exhaustion - potentially having to reduce their hours or leave the profession altogether. This creates a vicious cycle of even fewer GPs, and ultimately threatens safe patient care.

 “Our new Health Secretary has the opportunity to put right the wrongs done to general practice, and the wider NHS, by giving it the appropriate funding and resources it so desperately needs to close the growing workforce gap and safely meet patient demand. All doctors want to do is give the best care they can, but without proper support, this is becoming increasingly hard to do.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

The BMA is a trade union and professional association 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.