New research by the Royal College of General Practitioners predicts that, in 2015, on more than 51.3million occasions, patients in England will be unable to get an appointment to see a GP or nurse when they contact their local practice. This will be up from 41.9million occasions in 2013 and 46million occasions this year. The College says the record high number of refusals is the result of lack of investment in general practice, with family doctors and practice nurses now conducting 90 per cent of patient contacts for just 8.5 per cent of the NHS budget in England. RCGP honorary treasurer Dr Helen Stokes-Lampard said: “The fact that patients in England will be unable to see their GP when they want to on more than 50 million occasions in 2015 is a truly shocking indictment of the crisis that is enveloping general practice”.