interviews

24.10.19

Matt Hancock says GP recruitment is on the rise to support ‘bedrock of the NHS’

Today, speaking at the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) annual conference, Matt Hancock highlighted what he believes to be the three components of getting the foundations of primary care right; people, structure and tech.

There are now over three times as many doctors now working in hospitals than there are doctors in general practice and last year there were nearly 15 times as many GP visits than there were hospital visits.

Mr. Hancock said: “Clearly, there’s a disconnect between those figures. And of course, acuity is higher in hospitals. But the number of hospital doctors has gone up much faster than GPs.

“More than a million appointments a day now happen in general practice, but, historically, we haven’t prioritised general practice enough.

The latest Health Education England figures for GP recruitment were published this week. They show that since last year 3,538 doctors have accepted a place on GP specialty training this year, the highest number in history, and 20,000 clinical staff have been recruited.

Mr. Hancock also explained: “There’s more money going into primary and community care: £4.5bn extra each year by 2023 to 2024 – funding increasing faster for primary care than the NHS as a whole. Because we know there are staffing challenges and it’s critical, we address those challenges to build a sustainable NHS.

“We launched the landmark Clinical Negligence Scheme for General Practice in April. And we’re doing more to help you limit personal liabilities, reduce risk, and work in bigger teams.

“Structure also means addressing the outdated practice preventing GPs from being listed on the General Medical Council’s (GMC) specialist register. It’s not right, and it doesn’t reflect the increasingly important role GPs are going to play in the delivery of personalised, preventative healthcare in the future.”

He also said technology isn’t about replacing people, it’s about furthering what the trained professionals can do.

“Modern tech, allows for modern ways of working and living. It helps with recruitment and retention. And, above all, it means we improve access for patients.

“People get frustrated by the lack of access, not just by the lack of appointments. At the moment, physical appointments are often the only way to get access, but as we expand phone and video, there’s so much more we can do to help you do your jobs, and get the very best out of each and every one of our 44,570 GPs.

So digitising paper records, real-time and secure access to records for GPs and patients, IT infrastructure that works, inter-operable systems as standard, electronic prescribing to complement the millions of people now accessing GP services digitally – getting all of this tech right so we can deliver better care for people.

 

 

 

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