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Even Department of Health predicts a GP shortage

The Department of Health is predicting a shortage of 1,200 GPs in England from next year.

Draft documents on the NHS pay and workforce strategy for 2008 to 2011 also forecast a major shortage of nurses and allied health professionals, but a surplus of 3,200 consultants.

Dr Hamish Meldrum, GPC chair, said it was 'alarming' that even the department was now predicting a GP shortfall.

He said: 'In this context it is appalling there are still significant cuts in education budgets and other initiatives such as flexible career and returner schemes to recruit more GPs into the workforce.'

A department spokesman said the leaked document was 'an early draft plan' based on 'an early and partial analysis' of workforce capacity.

A separate document from the workforce directorate also exposed Government fears of industrial action by NHS staff if they were offered a pay award of 2 per cent or below for 2007/08.

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