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Lack of funding creates GP skills gap

Lack of funding creates GP skills gap

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Lack of funding in general practice could lead to a shortfall of 16,000 GPs by 2021, RCGP has claimed. 

The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) claim that lack of funding in general practice has already led to a shortfall of more than 8,300 general practitioners in England. 

The RCGP warning follows the launch of an NHS England report which predicted that by 2020/21 the gap between the NHS budget and rising costs of caring for an ageing population could reach £30 billion per year.

By assessing the impact of the predicted funding shortfall, the RCGP has calculated that general practice will face a deficit of £2.7bn in 2021, which based on the typical costs of employing partner and salaried GPs would lead to a further shortfall of 7,500 GPs across England.

RCGP chair Dr Clare Gerada has called on ministers to help boost the number of medical graduates going into general practice, and increase primary care funding to 10% of the NHS budget. 

She said: “General practice is at the heart of the NHS and if it is left to wither, as is the case now, it could sow the seeds of an unprecedented disintegration of the NHS, both in primary care and secondary care.

“Such is the key role that general practice plays, that if it starts to fall apart the impact will be felt across the rest of the health service – leading to longer waits in A&E and ever more last minute cancellations of elective surgery.” 

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