Doctors in the doldrums

03 March 2015

London’s General Practitioners are stretched. Couple that with low morale and retention and the picture is of a worsening situation.

More GPs are emigrating – applications for certificates allowing them to work abroad have risen over 12 per cent since 2008.[1]

18 per cent of patients can’t get an appointment in London, compared with 11 per cent nationally.

Satisfaction with GP services in London is declining – of the bottom 30 boroughs in England for seeing a GP of choice, 22 are in London.

The London Assembly Health Committee report, ‘Access to GP Care’[2] highlights the shortage of GPs in London and the issue of low GP morale. Launching the report today at the Docklands Medical Centre, Dr Onkar Sahota AM, Chair of the Health Committee, said: “London’s population is growing rapidly and we could reach GP crisis point soon. To improve patient satisfaction, we desperately need more GPs and better access to them. If we are to move more patient care from hospitals to the community, we must have the funding and infrastructure in place for increased General Practice capacity – that means more GPs, increased morale, improved surgeries and easier access. There is clearly a supply and demand issue and something drastic needs to be done before we reach the tipping point.” The report includes a number of recommendations:

NHS England (London) and Health Education England should commission research into low GP morale and how to retain GPs within the profession.

NHS England (London) should review its IT strategy and how it can improve patient access through technology.

The Mayor of London should play a major role in relieving the crisis in GP premises, through better planning and working with NHS England.

Notes for Editors:

Pulse Today, July 2014.

Read the report ‘Access to GP Care’ (attached below).

Dr Onkar Sahota AM, Chair of the Health Committee is available for interview. See contact details below.

London Assembly Health Committee.

As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.

For media enquiries, please contact Lisa Lam on 020 7983 4067. For out of hours media enquiries, call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the London Assembly duty press officer. Non-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.