Responding to the 2022 GP Patient Survey, Ruth Rankine director of primary care at the NHS Confederation, said:
“This has been another difficult year for people across the NHS who are working harder than ever before to see more patients in the face of rising demand and huge staff shortages.
“Primary care teams have risen to the challenge and are carrying out more appointments than at any point of the pandemic so far with 3 million more in May than the previous month. So it is encouraging to see that 72 per cent of people have reported a positive experience of their care.
“We need to remember that this survey was carried out during the second Covid wave of this year which saw high staff absences. On top of that, a fifth of general practices have closed or merged in the last ten years while patient list sizes have grown and there are around 4,500 fewer GPs.
“Primary care is doing all it can to meet the demand in difficult circumstances – they have recruited more staff and have introduced new and more innovative ways to improve access.
“Our members are eager to understand from the Government how it will deliver on its commitment to recruit 6,000 more GPs as well as see further capital investment. 80% of primary care leaders we surveyed recently said they did not have access to sufficient capital funding to enable them to provide services in the most efficient ways and therefore to increase productivity.
“Unless the Government can produce a fully funded workforce strategy, we will continue to see patients expressing dissatisfaction with access despite primary care teams working harder than ever.”
Primary care conference 2022
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Primary care making significant strides in recovering and restoring access to services but more support needed
Ruth Rankine, our director of primary care, responds to the latest statistics on GP appointments.
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