General Practitioners

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 4th February 2020.

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Photo of Jonathan Lord Jonathan Lord Conservative, Woking

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to improve access to GPs in England.

Photo of Jo Churchill Jo Churchill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

We recognise general practice is under pressure nationally and that is why we have committed to growing the workforce by 6,000 more doctors in general practice and 6,000 more primary care professionals. This is in addition to the 20,000 primary care professionals NHS England will provide funding towards through Primary Care Networks.

Growing the workforce will mean larger teams of staff providing a wide range of care options for patients and will free up more time for doctors to focus on those with more complex needs. This, alongside additional support and increasing the use of technology in general practice will create an extra 50 million appointments a year by 2024/25 and improve patient access to primary care services.

Evening and weekend general practice appointments are routinely available across the country to enable patients to find appointments at a time convenient to them. NHS England, working with stakeholders, is undertaking a national review of access to general practice services. The review’s main objective is to improve patient access both in hours and at evenings and weekends and reduce unwarranted variation in experience.

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