The Royal College of GPs yesterday revealed that investment in general practice has fallen by £400 million over the past three years – equivalent to a 7% cut in spending per patient.

The analysis comes as the government announces its aim to increase access to GP surgeries by extending opening hours.

The RCGP figures show that over 90% of patient dealings within the NHS are conducted in general practice, yet it receives just 9% of the total NHS budget.

The decrease in resources, for the third consecutive year, are said to be “having a disastrous effect on patient care.”

Sharon Banga, a Clinical Negligence Solicitor for Thompsons Solicitors comments: “These figures are extremely worrying as cuts to funding are translating to cuts to care.

“The government appears to be completely contradicting itself by claiming that it wants to move care away from hospitals, yet it continues to significantly reduce funding to general practice.

“We’ve dealt with thousands of cases of clinical negligence at Thompsons, and increasing workloads and diminishing resources are set to put additional pressure on the service which is extremely worrying for patient care.

“Urgent action needs to be taken to ensure patient care and safety is not compromised.”