‘Budget fails to address general practice funding crisis’

Head and shouldera photo of Dr Steve Taylor

Dr Steve Taylor, DAUK GP spokesperson

The budget has failed to address the crisis in general practice and provide the funding needed for safe and effective patient care, says the Doctors’ Association UK (DAUK).

Dr Steve Taylor, DAUK GP spokesperson, said Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s latest budget does nothing to reverse the massive funding cuts to general practice in the past decade.

He said that despite more demand than ever, practices are closing, GPs are leaving and some are without work, describing it as a ‘catastrophe for patients’.

Citing remarks made in 2021 by Mr Hunt, a former Health Secretary, Dr Taylor said the budget ‘won’t turn the tide’ for GPs.

Dr Taylor said: “As representatives of GPs working in the NHS, the budget has failed to provide what is needed for safe and effective patient care in the community.

“Jeremy Hunt said in 2021 of a funding announcement for general practice that ‘as someone who tried and failed to get 5,000 more GPs into the system, I don’t think this package will turn the tide’.

“Well this package won’t turn the tide.

“The failure to mention GPs, many of whom are now struggling to get work due to overall funding cuts of 20% per patient per year since 2016, is hugely disappointing.

“GP employment is a big issue.

“People need access to GPs but the Government has only agreed to give 2% more funding, or £3 per patient per year.

“General practice has been the most productive area of the NHS, with GPs doing 20% more work than in 2019 with fewer GPs. That’s more appointments, more face-to-face, more on the day, more in the week.

“The reward for this extra productivity is a cut in funding.

“Capacity has been reached and yet practices are closing, GPs are leaving the profession and some are without work. 

“This is a catastrophe for patients up and down the country with no help from Government.”