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November 2019

RCGP 'manifesto' urges politicians to rule out no-deal Brexit

The RCGP has launched a manifesto ahead of the general election next month calling politicians to rule out no-deal Brexit, and for more investment in general practice.

The manifesto warns: 'A no-deal Brexit risks huge disruption to the NHS and must be avoided. Brexit could have a hugely damaging impact on patient care by threatening the supply of medicines, medical devices and radioisotopes, the mutual recognition of professional qualifications, and the recruitment and retention of vital EU staff. A hard border in Northern Ireland would cause significant damage to cross-border healthcare arrangements.

The manifesto also calls for:

  • More investment and a greater share of the NHS budget - at least 11%
  • A workforce fit for the future - new commitments to increase the number of GPs, nurses and other health professionals in general practice
  • Increased training capacity in general practice, including resources for high quality-training for the whole multi-disciplinary team
  • Better support for GPs and their teams to do their jobs caring for patients.

The College says: 'General practice is the frontline of the NHS for millions of patients, carrying out over 300 million patient consultations each year and playing a crucial role alleviating pressures in other parts of the health service. It's essential that GPs and their teams get the support they need to offer patients better access and longer consultations with those that need one.'

In her final major speech as RCGP Chair, Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard warned politicians not to resort to 'vote-winning gimmicks' as a way of reducing waiting times for GP appointments.

  • A new RCGP survey conducted by ComRes of more than 1,500 GPs in England found that 60% of GPs said they don't have enough time to adequately assess patients, and more than half (53%) think that patient safety is compromised because consultations are too short. Almost two-thirds of respondents (65%) said it had been difficult to recruit a practice nurse in the last year, and about a third said they were unlikely to be working in general practice in five years' time.
  • See also, Parties clash on NHS funding pledges and promises to tackle the workforce crisis