Responding to the Royal College of GP’s report ‘Fit for the Future’ and its warning that England could lose almost 19,000 GPs over the next five years1, Dr Kieran Sharrock, BMA England GP committee deputy chair, said:
“This stark warning from the College is one that the Government can ill afford to ignore.
“The number of fully-qualified GPs is already plummeting, meaning each day more people are losing ‘their family doctor’, and such projections lay bare the potentially devastating impact for both the NHS and patients if politicians and policymakers fail to act.
“While GPs and their teams are doing all they can to ensure patients are seen at their practice when they need to be, current levels of workload are unsustainable and unsafe for both patients and staff. This will only worsen if we continue to haemorrhage doctors.
“The RCGP has laid out a number of areas that need urgent attention, many of which the BMA has raised continuously – including those around premises, IT, bureaucracy, and resourcing – and which would make a real difference to recruitment and retention. Furthermore, the Government must address punitive pension rules that are forcing doctors to retire or reduce their hours when the health service and patients need them most.
“Ministers must work with the profession and organisations such as the BMA and RCGP to come to workable solutions that protect general practice so that doctors and GP teams have the capacity to provide the standard of care that patients deserve.”
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.