GP crisis: Call for more general practice funding as study shows link to life expectancy

DAUK’s Dr Steve Taylor has called for an increase in funding for general practice to help improve people’s health.

Dr Taylor, GP spokesperson for the Doctors’ Association UK (DAUK), was responding to a new study by academics from the University of Leicester which found that seeing the same GP could help people live longer.

Living in areas of England with more fully qualified GPs and better funded surgeries all had a positive impact, the research found.

Dr Taylor told national radio listeners that GPs agreed with the findings, but that there were not enough to deliver the care patients deserve because of a retention crisis.

Head and shoulders photo of Dr Steve Taylor, DAUK GP committee spokesperson
DAUK’s GP spokesperson Dr Steve Taylor

Speaking on the Nick Ferrari programme on LBC, Dr Taylor said: “This study says basically what we all know, we would all benefit from seeing the same doctor and GPs totally agree with that.

“Retention of GPs is a problem.

“Fundamentally, it’s down to some of the decision making at NHS England and funding arrangements.

“There’s been a 20 per cent reduction in funding for GP practices, which means it’s hard to employ and retain GPs.”

Dr Taylor told LBC listeners that GPs receive around £165 per patient per year. The figures has risen by £13 since 2015, representing a 20 per cent real terms reduction over the past nine years, while the numbers of patients they’re seeing has risen.

“The average in the UK is 2,300 patients per GP,” he said. “It was 1,800 in 2015.

“GPs coming through training, there just isn’t the funding to support the employment of many of them.”

Posting on X, formerly known as Twitter, Dr Taylor added: “NHS England need to fund GP practices so they can recruit and retain GPs, instead of funding cuts & supporting only ARRS (Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme) roles.”

Read more on the University of Leicester study.