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GPs 'to turn away patients 50 million times in 2015'

GP surgeries in England will turn away patients over 50 million times next year as practices become increasingly overstretched, the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) has warned.

Doctors' leaders said the figures were a "shocking indictment" of the system and warned the situation was only likely to get worse unless investment was increased.

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GP system 'brought to its knees by lack of investment'

The GP profession in England has been brought to "its knees" by a lack of investment, doctors' leaders have claimed.

The comments come after the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCPG) predicted patients will be turned away more than 50 million times by GPs in 2015.

Dr Helen Stokes-Lampard, RCPG honorary treasurer, said:

No GP wants to turn away a single patient - but surgeries are being faced with no choice because they don't have the resources to cope with the increasing number of older people who need complex care, whilst also meeting the needs of families and people of working age.

The profession has been brought to its knees both by a chronic slump in investment and the fact that there are now simply not enough family doctors to go around.

The Government must urgently move to increase investment in general practice to 11% of the NHS budget by 2017 - and recruit 8,000 family doctors.

– Dr Helen Stokes-Lampard

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