Responding to the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) latest report, The State of Care in General Practice 2014-2017, Dr Richard Vautrey, BMA GP committee chair, said:
“This report shows that general practice consistently receives the highest ratings for the quality and safety of care delivered to the public despite the unprecedented and growing pressures on GP services throughout England. The number of GP practices obtaining the highest grading continues to grow, with nine out of ten rated as either good or outstanding.
“These positive results are undoubtedly down to the hard work of GPs and practice staff, but many are in an environment where they are increasingly struggling to deliver effective care to their local communities. A recent BMA survey found a majority of GPs in England are considering temporarily closing their practice list to new patients because of the impact of soaring demand, stagnating budgets and widespread staff shortages. A third of GP practices have vacancies that have remained unfilled for 12 months while nine out of ten GPs believe their workload is often unmanageable. The CQC process itself remains overly bureaucratic and continues to result in GPs spending time filling in paperwork when they should be treating patients.
“In this climate, it is important that any GP practices deemed to be struggling are given the necessary support so that any issues can be addressed. More widely, the government needs to tackle the mounting crisis facing GPs, not least as the report concludes that a strong general practice is vital to the overall performance of the rest of the NHS.”
Notes to Editors
The British Medical Association (BMA) is the voice of doctors and medical students in the UK. It is an apolitical professional organisation and independent trade union, representing doctors and medical students from all branches of medicine across the UK and supporting them to deliver the highest standards of care.