Does general practice need extra funds to strengthen primary care service?
General practice needs a cash injection of £2.5bn a year by 2020/21 in addition to £2.4bn in extra funding already promised and being delivered by government, says the Royal College of GPs.
The money would bring investment up to £14.5bn a year, about 11% of the overall NHS budget.
The college adds that the GP forward view, launched in 2016, needs a ‘major overhaul’. The initiative aimed to boost GP numbers by 5,000 by 2020. However, the college says that since the GP forward view was launched, workforce had fallen and 6,000 more GPs were needed to meet the goal. This has led to increased pressure on general practice.
Chair of the Royal College of GPs Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard said: ‘The new Secretary of State recently identified workforce and prevention as his top priorities. If he is serious about tackling the workforce crisis and keeping patients out of hospital, it is essential that the government invests properly in general practice.’
She added: ‘It is now time for us to go above and beyond the original GP forward view. The vital importance of general practice must be recognised as decision makers draw up plans as to how to spend the new money that the Prime Minister has promised for the NHS.’
In June, Prime Minister Theresa May promised an extra £20.5bn extra a year in real terms for the NHS by 2023.