Politicians and NHS managers must ensure ‘overstretched and underfunded’ GP services are properly resourced, say doctors leaders.
Referring to figures in a Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) report which show details of NHS payments made to general practices in 2013-14, BMA GPs committee chair Chaand Nagpaul said that they show how good value general practice is for the NHS but warns that GPs are “finding it increasingly difficult to make funding meet demands.”
The HSCIC figures show that more than £7.6bn was paid to 8,060 practices in 2013-14 and covered a range of costs, such as premises, staffing costs and services to patients.
Dr Nagpaul continued: “Politicians and NHS managers need to focus their energy on ensuring overstretched and underfunded GP services get the resources they need to deliver enough appointments and services to their patients.”
The BMA GPs committee chair said the payments funded unlimited patient access to GP appointments — on average more than six visits per year — as well as: (i) home visits; (ii) care for housebound, vulnerable patients; (iii) immunisation programmes; (iv) cervical screening; and (v) chronic disease management.
According to the figures, registered patients at practices in England cost the NHS on average £136 each per year. Dr Nagpaul said this proved GP services were delivering “comprehensive” care for patients over a whole year.
The HSCIC report is available here.