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Family GPs shortfall 'shocking'

A potential shortfall of 16,000 family doctors in England in eight years time due to a funding gap is "truly shocking", according to the chairwoman of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP).

The fact that, in just eight years, we could see a shortfall of almost 16,000 GPs is truly shocking.

General practice is at the heart of the NHS and if it is left to wither, as is the case now, it could sow the seeds of an unprecedented disintegration of the NHS, both in primary care and secondary care.

Such is the key role that general practice plays that if it starts to fall apart the impact will be felt across the rest of the health service - leading to longer waits in A&E and ever more last-minute cancellations of elective surgery.

– Dr Clare Gerada, chairwoman of the RCGP

A poll of around 250 GPs conducted for the RCGP last month also found that 85% believe general practice is "in crisis", while half said that GPs could "no longer guarantee safe care to their patients".