Responding to government and NHS plans that will be announced this week to support primary care, Ruth Rankine director of primary care at the NHS Confederation, said:
“Against a trend of falling GP numbers and rising patient lists, primary care network leaders will welcome any plans for additional investment that support them to deliver even more for their local communities.
“Investing in the wider primary care workforce such as community pharmacy and the new care navigator roles alongside improved digital telephony systems are not things that those working in primary care will argue with. They are desperately needed, and we are seeing the benefits where they are already in place.
“However, primary care will only be able to fully recover and manage the increasing demand if there is sufficient investment and commitment from the government to increase the actual numbers of GPs, nurses and other vital posts in the NHS at a time when there over 130,000 vacancies in England alongside record demand for healthcare.
“If the government truly wants to “end the 8am scramble” rather than pay lip service to the public, its ambition will need to go further to retain the workforce we already have; otherwise we risk further frustrating patients by not having enough staff to deliver care.”