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The King's Fund responds to the Department of Health and Social Care announcement to improve access to general practice

Beccy Baird, Senior Fellow at The King’s Fund, commented on the announcement from NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care of a blueprint to improve access to general practice 

‘GPs report that they are working harder than ever, yet patients are finding it difficult to get an appointment – it is clear that something needs to be done. 

'Recent experience shows that there simply aren’t enough GPs and other primary care staff to meet the demand for appointments. The additional funding announced today may help, but many practices already have vacancies that they are unable to fill, and in some areas even locum GPs are hard to find. This means other measures will be equally important, particularly the expansion of local, on-site support to practices for IT systems and making better use of the available space in their buildings.  

'The way in which people are accessing general practice is changing quickly, with the introduction of new clinical roles, more remote consultations and triage systems. These different ways of accessing care all have a role to play but practices will need support to work with their local communities to put in place the best possible systems to meet the needs of their patients, while making sure they can continue to provide safe and effective care.’ 

Notes to editors

For further information, or to request an interview, please contact the Press and Public Affairs team on 020 7307 2585 (if calling out of hours, please ring 07584 146035).

The King's Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and care in England. We help to shape policy and practice through research and analysis; develop individuals, teams and organisations; promote understanding of the health and social care system; and bring people together to learn, share knowledge and debate. Our vision is that the best possible health and care is available to all.

Plan set out to improve access for NHS patients and support GPs

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