Every GP surgery in the UK should have high-speed broadband – and premises should be up-graded and purpose built, according to proposals from the Royal College of GPs.
In its wish-list for politicians contesting the general election, the college repeats its call for 5,000 extra GPs for England together with an additional 5,000 GP training places.
GP training should be enhanced to reflect the challenges and complexities of modern general practice, it says. The college also wants commitments to expand membership of practice teams.
Launching the plans, college chair Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard warned politicians against setting access targets for practices. She said: “History has taught us that access targets in general practice do not work and we urge political parties not to make rash decisions that will win them votes, but ultimately set back general practice 20 years.”
She added: “The main political parties have already made the NHS a key focus of their campaigns, but the last thing we want to see are vote-winning gimmicks. It is vital that their commitments are realistic and that they support our family doctor service.
“The pressures on general practice are unprecedented. Our patients’ needs are becoming more complex and the traditional 10-minute consultation is no longer fit for purpose.
“We need more time with our patients but we are already going above and beyond to try and keep pace with demand, often to the detriment of our own health and wellbeing. We simply don’t have enough GPs and practice staff to cope and patients are having to wait longer and longer for an appointment.”