BMA GP committee chair Dr Richard Vautrey has called for a substantial rise in capital investment to improve 1,000 GP practice premises.
With up to 26,000 additional staff set to join the primary care workforce over the next four years, Dr Vautrey has highlighted the urgent need for investment in GP premises across the country, in order to accommodate the growing workforce. Early estimates show that an average Primary Care Networks (PCN) will take on 21 new staff each by 2023/24. With half of GPs and Practice Managers stating in the 2018 BMA GP Premises Survey that their premises were already not suitable for their needs, the increase in staff is set to compound premises issues.
Speaking at a conference for PCN Clinical Directors on 8 February, Dr Vautrey questioned why an investment package, similar to the £2.8bn secured for hospital premises, could not be planned for general practice in the forthcoming government budget.
Dr Vaultry said, ‘One of the problems we still have to address is where to put these [additional staff]. We know the issues of premises and funding for premises is something that has to be addressed’.
‘We need the government, through their annual cycle of investment, to invest in capital costs so, not only can they build 20 new hospitals, but maybe they can reform 1,000 general practices across the country so we have the space to site this growing workforce and deliver good quality care.’