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Gold, incentives and meh

Fewer GPs working less than full time, Government figures reveal

There were fewer GPs in 2013 than 2012, and they were working longer hours, figures released by the Government have shown.

In 2012, 32% of GPs were working less than full time, but this fell to 29% in 2013. Meanwhile the total number of GPs reduced marginally from 40,265 to 40,236.

The figures, unveiled via a response to a parliamentary question yesterday, came as MPs were also pushing the Government for answers on how they would reduce GP appointment waiting times.

In response, health minister Dr Dan Poulter said the Government was addressing this via the Prime Minister’s ‘Challenge Fund’, which incentivises 8am to 8pm seven-day opening, and via the element of the unplanned admissions DES that sees GPs provide same-day phone consultations to the most vulnerable 2% of their patients.

He said: ‘The Government recognises the importance of timely access to general practice. The Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund has allocated £50 million to pilot ways to improve access around the country, to give general practitioners the flexibility to meet the needs of the local population. These pilots will benefit more than 7.5 million patients across more than 1,110 practices.’

‘In addition, changes to the GP contract in April 2014 introduced a new enhanced service, which includes a commitment to same day telephone consultations with a professional in the GP surgery, where necessary, for the most at risk in the population.’

The statistics come as female GPs outnumber men for the first time, and despite the popular notion that female GPs are more likely to work part time.


Number of GPs

YearWorking less than full timeWorking full time or more

Source: House of Commons Hansard / Dr Dan Poulter

Readers' comments (15)

  • Vinci Ho

    Why can't you put the heading as more GPs are working longer hours but less GPs overall?

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  • Vinci Ho

    Somebody needs to swallow a piece of paper with these figures on it in front of the public as somebody said female doctors/GPs are burden to NHS and the number of GPs will be substantially increased ?

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  • Dr Dan. Not sure if he's just incompetent or spineless.

    I guess this is at least some more ammunition to fight off the idea that GPs are lazy and all doing part time work

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  • So those that are left are having to work longer hours to pick up the pieces.
    Wonder how long that is going to continue ?

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  • can we check where he's sourced this info , does not ring true to me?

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  • I think it depends on how full time is defined. I suspect it is on hours declared rather than sessions - I would define full time as 9 sessions a week and a share of Saturdays. Full time from a declaration point of view for the old PCT etc is another matter all together. I cannot believe that 71% of GPs are full time - I know of very few myself!

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  • As there is no definition of full-time, it would perhaps be more useful to report on hours worked. Four 10 hour days might otherwise be described as part-time while five days 9-5 (I wish) would be accepted as full-time.

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  • If full time means 38 hours per week or more then people working 6 or 7 sessions per week count as full time.

    It really makes no sense to anyone other than those wanting to spin it in their favour.

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  • my concern is that as a recently qualified GP I am the only one doing 8 or more clinical sessions.

    There are several with portfolio careers who do full time hours, but only 1/3-1/2 their week is clinical.

    The majority are truly part time. I know this is anecdotal but seems to be confirmed by every other GP I know

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  • yes that is anecdotal

    part time in General Practice = Full time in any other job

    many are working elsewhere eg secondary care OOH occ health teaching to balance the intense pressure of General Practice

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