Reacting to today’s Budget, Dr Maureen Baker, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “The Chancellor’s budget today is yet another blow for patients and for general practice. We are really disappointed that another opportunity to address the massive funding gap in general practice has come and gone.
“Unfortunately, it is our patients who will bear the brunt of another year without additional funding and the consequences could be catastrophic for patient safety.
“There are over 340 million consultations in general practice per year – around 90% of all patient contacts in the NHS. GPs are wilting under the pressure of trying to meet the demands of a growing and ageing population whilst the share of government funding that general practice receives is at an all-time low of 8.39%.
“With greater investment in general practice we could provide more appointments, a wider range of services and improved continuity of care, as well as providing even greater value for money to the NHS.
“If the Government is serious about alleviating pressures on hospitals and providing more care in the community, it must act now and urgently put plans in place to increase investment in general practice to 11% of the NHS budget by 2017.”
RCGP Press office – 020 3188 7574/7575
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Notes to editor
The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 49,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.