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RCGP calls for 'rescue plan' for GP services

The Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) has called for a ‘rescue plan’ to alleviate pressures on GPs and the services they provide to the public. Martin Marshall has described the GP sector in the UK as ‘crisis-torn’, in need of an emergency-style rescue plan. RCGP has written to Health Secretary Sajid Javid and new NHS England Chief Executive Amanda Pritchard for them to implement a five-point action plan to tackle these challenges.

Mental health struggles and potential for burnout have been seen in the GP community due to added pressure from the pandemic, and a push to tackle the care backlog which has cemented itself since lockdown restrictions took effect. Six in ten GPs say their mental health has deteriorated in the last year, with 63% saying they expect things to get worse over the next five years. An RCGP study has even found that 34% of GPs see themselves leaving the profession within the coming five years.

The five-point plan suggests the recruitment of 6,000 more GPs working in the next three years, a system-wide programme to reduce bureaucracy, and providing a boost to GPs’ voices in integrated care systems “in a bid to eliminate the waste associated with fragmented services and in designing care for the communities they serve”.

“We are offering the new Secretary of State and the incoming leader of the NHS in England ready-made solutions to the problems that have beset general practice for more than a decade – our proposals will improve the care of patients for generations to come. We now need urgent action and for those solutions to be implemented,” commented Martin Marshall, RCGP Chair.


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