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RCGP calls for urgent £750m boost to GP core funding

The Government needs to provide an ‘immediate injection’ of £750m of extra GP core funding in the next financial year to put general practice on a secure footing, the head of the RCGP has announced.

The college is calling for the extra funding as part of its bid to secure 11% of the total NHS budget for general practice, which it says is vital for the NHS to deal with the impending ‘explosion’ in GP workload, with a million more people predicted to have more than one long-term condition by 2025.

The announcement comes as the annual RCGP annual conference begins today in Glasgow.

RCGP chair Professor Maureen Baker will outline the college’s demands in a speech to conference this morning, which also include a call for financial incentives for trainee GPs, and sanctions for medical schools that fail to take action to prevent bias against general practice as a career choice.

Professor Baker will also urge a rethink of the ‘bureaucracy’ of CQC and more focus on promoting GP-led models of care.

And she will repeat her call for a ‘real deal’ for general practice – and dismiss the Government’s drive for seven-day working as ‘living in cloud cuckoo land’ and a ‘recipe for disaster’ with current resources.

Professor Baker will declare that general practice is ‘the Obi Wan Kenobi of the NHS – our only hope’, but that this will require ‘substantial investment in our service and thousands more GPs’.

‘This is the only way we can transform our NHS so that it meets the changing needs of patients’, she will say.

Meanwhile, RCGP Scotland chair Dr Miles Mack has called on the Scottish Government for the urgent delivery of a political strategy to ‘safeguard and develop’ general practice.

His comments tie in with the launch of RCGP Scotland’s manifesto, Promoting general practice, linked to the Scottish Parliamentary elections in May next year.

The manifesto reiterates RCGP calls for the recruitment of an extra 740 GPs by 2020, alongside more practice and community nurses and a clinical pharmacist in every practice team.

RCGP Scotland wants to see the QOF replaced by a ‘system of professional, peer-led, values driven governance’ and for ‘clusters of GPs’ to be formed within a region covering 20,000-50,000 patients.

The GP out of hours services needs a ‘clear identity’, perhaps through renaming it the Green Light Service so that its remit is clear, says the RCGP.