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GP waiting times a 'national disgrace' says RCGP chair

Chair of the RCGP has said that spiralling waiting times for patients to see a GP are a ‘national disgrace’ as surveys predict 60 million appointments to see a GP or nurse next year will involve a wait of a week or longer.

A ComRes survey commissioned by the college found 65% of patients worry that GP workloads will harm standards of care, and only 23% think that the current workforce is big enough to meet the challenges of an ageing population.

The RCGP is now estimating that the profession will lose 1,000 GPs a year by 2022 due to pressures and the current age of the workforce, with as many as 22% of GPs in London calling time on frontline care in the next 5 years.

RCGP chair Dr Maureen Baker said: ‘These devastating statistics show that waiting times are now a national disgrace and that the situation is set to get even worse over the year ahead.’

She added: ‘Our patients are bearing the brunt. We simply don’t have enough GPs to meet patient demand and those that we do have are over-worked and overstretched.’

Readers' comments (36)

  • John Glasspool

    Hmmm.., not a wonderful headline. I wonder how the Tory press will spin it?

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  • I agree with above - she hasnt thought this through, and has CREATED the rod to beat us with again !!!

    She should have been emphasising the fact we are worked to death, all it will lead to is Labour spouting about reintroducing the 48hr target arbitrarily and Tories pressing on us even more.

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  • Disgrace ? for whom...?

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  • What a naive person she is. I can see the Daily hate Mail headline now -
    "GPs admit they are a disgrace!"

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  • "our patients are bearing the brunt".......................Dr Baker i think you also forgot to mention us GPs who actually bear the brunt of the stress and strain and end up dealing with all excess workload issues late in the evening or in their time off !

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  • RCGP should be highlighting the recruitment and retention crisis, doing some research on how many GPs have bloody left the profesion.

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  • Vinci Ho

    Both BMA and RCGP chairs need some briefing on the matter of political wisdom before opening their mouth.

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  • Don't be fooled Vinci. I know people at senior management level such as rcgp chair gets media handling and public speech training (coding several thousand pounds, funded by tax payers and college memberships) do I very much doubt this was a mistake.

    It is sad when our own chief is degrading the profession.

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  • Vinci Ho

    Yes . No doubt they had training . That is one thing . Being composed and say the right thing at the right time is another . Controlling emotion and not letting words slip out of gob requires some skill.
    Bas***d like me is better to stay on this platform and moan freely, ha ha ha.

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  • with friends like the rcgp who needs enemies ...

    and we have a lot of enemies :(

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