Media comment on the Chancellor’s Budget statement, March 2024

  • Media comment

Dr Michelle Drage, our CEO, says a lack of investment will hobble preventative care and push more demoralised staff towards the door.

In response to the Chancellor’s announcement this afternoon, Dr Michelle Drage, CEO of Londonwide Local Medical Committees made this statement:

“Today the Chancellor stood by a funding decision which will see more GPs and practice team members leave, and patients waiting longer for appointments. The 2% increase recently imposed on GPs in the new Contract is a fraction of current inflation and goes nowhere near addressing the fact that general practice is currently on its smallest share of the NHS budget in eight years, which is eating away at preventative care while politicians say they are desperate to keep patients healthy and out of hospital. We call on the Chancellor to restore the value of the core contract for essential services – the ones patients need on a day to day basis.”

“General practice in the Capital and across the country is struggling to maintain safe care against a headwind of increased patient need and long-standing underfunding. The measures announced (omitted) will only add to the spiralling attrition, crippling bureaucracy and unsafe, decision-fatigue-filled, 12-plus hour working days that are instrumental in driving professionals away at an ever-younger age.

“This funding settlement, and it’s refusal to acknowledge the worsening crisis in our health system, is a further attack on the effective delivery of general practice in London – an essential service to Londoners, including some of the most deprived communities in the country. It is at risk of being unsafe now, and growing more so for those providing the care and for the patients receiving it.”