An industry body representing staff in GP jobs has launched a new campaign and petition with the aim of ensuring the sector receives more funding and support from the UK's governments in future.
The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) has allied with the National Association for Patient Participation (NAPP) to launch a new petition and poster calling on the UK's four national government bodies to provide a greater allocation of NHS resources to GP practices.
Hundreds of thousands of patients will be asked to sign the petition over the summer in order to show their support for general practitioners, in order to convince policymakers to increase funding for GP services to meet rapidly growing demand.
Research from the RCGP has revealed that over the last decade, the number of GP-patient consultations has soared to an all-time high, with 90 per cent of NHS patient contacts taking place within general practice.
As such, GP teams are now seeing 40 million more patients a year than they were five years ago, but without an accompanying increase in funding availability, the government runs the risk of services becoming unsustainable.
The RCGP and NAPP have therefore been calling for the UK to increase funding for GPs to the equivalent of 11 per cent of the overall NHS budget by 2017, as they believe the evidence shows demand for GP services is only likely to carry on rising in the years to come.
RCGP chair Dr Maureen Baker said: "More than one million patient consultations are carried out by family doctors every day and demand for GP services is growing year on year, with a population that is getting bigger and growing older, with more and more people suffering from multiple conditions."
This comes after the organisation voiced its support for Your GP Cares, a new campaign launched by the British Medical Association earlier this month to raise awareness of the need for more GP jobs to be created within the NHS.
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