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RCGP warns spending on patient care set to fall steeply

RCGP (The Royal College Of General Practitioners) : 24 May, 2013  (Company News)
The Royal College of General Practitioners issues a warning that the amount of money allocated to GPs to care for their patients is set to fall by nearly £200 million during the next three years which is equivalent to the current funding for 1.2 million patients, according to predictions from GP leaders.

The RCGP's warning says that the proportion of NHS funding being spent on general practice has been falling for successive years, with GP practices being starved of the resources they need to meet the growing needs of patients and to safeguard the future of patient care.


The predictions are based on RCGP calculations for the time period 2011/12 to 2015/16, at 2011/2012 prices.


Only nine percent of the NHS budget in England was spent on general practice in 2010/11, even though GPs see more than one million patients per day and 90 percent of all NHS activity takes place in general practice.

The breakdown of NHS spending for 2010/11 for A&E and acute care was 47 percent, and a further 19 percent was spent on other secondary care such as maternity and mental health, with 10 percent spent on community care.

The RCGP is worried that if funding and resources continue to be stretched, this will seriously impact on the ability of GPs to continue to provide timely access to high quality care and services for their patients.

RCGP Chair Dr Clare Gerada, said: "General practice is the most effective and cost-effective way of providing patient care - a whole day's care in general practice costs one tenth of a day in hospital. But funding and resources for our services is being stretched to the limits, with family doctors facing ballooning workloads, record hours being worked in surgery and real consequences for patient care".

"Personalised continuous and integrated care are the cornerstones of general practice - something that the Health Secretary himself has acknowledged this week based on his visits to GP surgeries".

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