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Independents' Day

Health minister doubts claims of a GP recruitment crisis

Health minister Dr Dan Poulter has said that claims there is a GP recruitment crisis are ‘not necessarily correct’, despite NHS England releasing a £10m ten point plan on boosting recruitment last month.

Speaking in a debate on general practice funding in the House of Commons, Dr Poulter said he didn’t think that the point made that there was ‘a crisis in GP recruitment’ was ‘necessarily correct’.

The three-hour long debate, inspired by RCGP’s Put Patients First campaign, concluded with MPs voting in favour of a motion calling for the health secretary ‘to work with NHS England and the RCGP to secure the financial future of local GP services as a matter of urgency’.

The motion was brought by Labour MP for Halton Derek Twigg and Green Party MP for Brighton Pavillion Caroline Lucas, who argued that the quality of GP services is declining because of a lack of funding relative to other NHS services and there are too few new GPs being trained.

Mr Twigg was talking about how out-of-hours services are organised and the Government’s plan to extend GP opening times to evenings and weekends, when he said: ‘The key thing here is that we haven’t got enough GPs and that is the point we have got to really focus on today.’

However Dr Poulter responded that it was ‘not necessarily correct’ that there was a crisis.

He told Mr Twigg: ‘On the point of long-term workforce planning, and this is an important point. Very clear, that if the honorable member is raising the fact that there is suddenly a crisis in GP recruitment, something that I don’t think is necessarily correct, that actually if the previous Government was actually serious about investing in general practice it should have trained a lot more GPs than it did.’

It comes as Pulse revealed in December that GP training is in turmoil with ‘one application for every four roles’ and as the Government launched a £10 million ten-point plan to boost recruitment and retention of GPs just last week.

The RCGP’s Put Patients First campaign has been petitioning for general practice to receive at least 11% of total NHS funding.

 

 

Readers' comments (43)

  • This is Rotherham Council type lunacy and really is nutters running the asylum.

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  • I agree with the minister.The claims are exaggerated.There has always been a relative shortage in rural and some inner city areas but that is nothing new.The practices here in Nottingham are always inundated with young enthusiastic GP applicants.Never had a problem.

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  • Tory
    Without
    Any
    Talent
    Hes also in the right place with the other members.
    Infuriating idiot.

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  • Vinci Ho

    Ha ha ha!
    You just slapped the faces of David Cameron and his mates who 'promised' to recruit so many many GPs in the near future.(Of course,labour dares not say less).
    There is something called political wisdom,son!

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  • The guy is an idiot and must be completely stupid. Shameful this statement is coming from a fellow doctor. I've advertised in the bmj pulse, LinkedIn and locally the last 3 weeks, offered a golden hello as part of a local ccg scheme and closing date tomorrow. Not a single applicant with 3 doctors leaving! But off course this is not a crisis.

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  • Vinci Ho

    Sally(Wollaston),
    Why are you still wasting your youth away with this bloody party?

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  • Dear 4:38pm.

    "A Breckland District Council scrutiny report this summer found there were 50 GP vacancies in Norfolk, which represented an overall 10pc shortfall"http://cms.pulsetoday.co.uk/CMS/commentEdit.aspx?label=comment&id=44411&TB_iframe=true&width=650#

    Perhaps you should be a Tory MP not a GP who lives in the real world

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  • Simple politicking. He's not going to admit there's an issue due to his party's policies in the department he is responsible for, less than 100 days before a general election.

    We all however, know what's true. General practice is being destabilised with huge numbers of senior doctors looking to escape the madhouse as soon as possible, younger doctors emigrating abroad for much better pay, working conditions and lifestyle, as well as large numbers of medical students and foundation trainees shunning general practice as a career.

    What goes on in the real world is never accurately described by what comes out of a politicians mouth. Twas ever thus.

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  • The retirement Tsunami can be seen in the distance . It is rapidly approaching . BUT it is not here yet and therefore there is no actual crisis that has to be dealt with . When it hits land primary care will swept away on " the turning tide " . Then it will be much too late .

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  • Consider falling session numbers also. With the intensity of work, and the amount of clinical paperwork and results, 7 sessions is the new 8 sessions, which was the old 9 sessions.
    By Easter I'm expecting 6 sessions to be the new 'full time'.

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  • Dr Poulter is deluded. Or mendacious. Or both.

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  • T Roscoe

    if there is no shortage of GPs in Nottinghamshire then why did I offer £12,000 per session, £7k golden hellow and up to 10% performance related bonus for a salaried GP and get NO applicants.

    For a full time GP this is equivalent to £125,000 per annum

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  • The real crisis will start from 1st April this year, when many older GPs will retire

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  • i'm sure everything will start to get better ;

    1) the 1.5 trillion debt has been paid off
    2) all the difficult elements of austerity cuts have been completed
    3) all the hard savings on the NHS have been made - just the low hanging easy stuff left
    4) morale is at an all time high
    5) GPs are falling over to avoid retirement
    6) medical students are queuing up to be GPs
    7) GPs feel valued
    8) expenses are going down
    9) pay has been going up for the last few years that I'm going to donate my earnings to Wayne Rooney to help him out
    10) Gps are all going to vote conservative
    11) i live in a house made of chocolate and have pixies in the garden

    everything is fine

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  • 'All is for the best in the best of all possible world's'

    Dr Pangloss

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  • That's it. I'm leaving this stinking country.

    Had another Email this morning offering me work in Australia or New Zealand .

    I'm off

    Suck my little pinky you total txxt

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  • Took Early Retirement

    I'm firmly with Nye Bevan on this:-

    "No amount of cajolery, and no attempts at ethical or social seduction, can eradicate from my heart a deep burning hatred for the Tory Party. So far as I am concerned they are lower than vermin".

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  • Took Early Retirement

    e-mail him at daniel.poulter.mp@parliament.uk

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  • Ones senses a growing recognition that General Practice is in difficulty within the Department of Health. Very interestingly hostile articles on GPs in the Daily Mail seem to have suddenly reduced. The attack dogs have been called off temporarily it seems. Nauseating abuse of power.

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  • His parents did not teach him to be truthful, pity!

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  • I'm from a nice semi-rural practice, not a lot of poverty but very high demand. I'm working my arse off for a piddle per consultation. Partner retired (only just in 50's) 2 applicants- took both on as the rest of us want out. There is a retainment crisis!

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  • "John Glasspool | Other GP | 06 February 2015 7:31am
    I'm firmly with Nye Bevan on this:-

    "No amount of cajolery, and no attempts at ethical or social seduction, can eradicate from my heart a deep burning hatred for the Tory Party. So far as I am concerned they are lower than vermin". "

    But as well as being a Tory, he is a doctor. A doctor is doing this to you. Would you also then say -
    "No amount of cajolery, and no attempts at ethical or social seduction, can eradicate from my heart a deep burning hatred for doctors. So far as I am concerned they are lower than vermin" ?

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  • Can I suggest this is reported to the GMC for his secret file? If he can't diagnose a missing limb or three in the proffession from where he is sat on a plump cussion, I fear for the lives of his patients. Its just a flesh wound.

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  • I would agree with this. Working 1-2 sessions a week is not going to help the profession. I feel there are enough GPs but all hands are not on the deck.

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  • Until and unless young GP's are allowed to open their own GP surgeries and not be left with the only option of joining GP surgeries where the existing partners do not open up partnerships - the recruitment crisis will go on for ever.

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  • It is true! In Hastings we are absolutely crying out for GPs...None of the new young GPs seem to want to live down here :-(

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  • Moron, how is the view from inside the hole you buried your head in.

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  • This comment has been moderated.

  • I can say directly that having attended a GP recruitment event this week that numbers are 2/3 of the area needs.
    In a lovely part of the uk!

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  • only time will tell ...

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  • .....parallel universe?

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  • PM@ 10:10- Bevan did not say that of Doctors- only about politicians.
    I think John's comment was aimed at a politician who happens to be a doctor. One might as well twist the thing a bit further and say - Well, he's also a human being so let's apply Bevan's damning conclusion to the whole human race including ourselves. It is a greater tragedy when a professional becomes a politician and tries to bury his own kind forgetting his roots.

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  • The long term view of both main parties is to privatise NHS. GPs stand in the way of this - they make sure that people on the whole stay well, and where's the profit in that? With this logic, there's not only no recruitment crisis, there are far too many GPs!

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  • Last yr we put adverts thrice in BMA for salaried hp with a view with very poor response.. Dr poultry is obviously an asshole stuck in cushy Westminster earning loads of money without working for it with no idea of what's going on in GP world.. One wonders why did he leave general practice to go into politics???

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  • I think he was a gynae SHO before he became a politician rather than a GP

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  • Aww bless him, young Dr Dan standing there in the antenatal clinic with his nice pink tie, still unsure how these ladies actually get pregnant...

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  • We are all discussing a non problem. There is no recruitment problem, everything is fine, everyone is wasting his/her time. Stop immediately. I am away to OZ, because I cannot stick these kind of crazies and the utter madness of the work they bring to me, mostly audits and paper. I am glad too be away and I wish all those happy UK GPs every happiness in Dr. Poulters paradise.

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  • The basic issue is that money rules.

    Any good health service keeps people alive longer developing more chronic problems that need to be treated and increasing social care costs. This costs any country huge sums of money. Over one third of government spending goes on healthcare and social care costs. None of this generates GDP.

    When the world is economicly bankrupt there is no surprise that all government organisations dislike healthcare workers. However they know they have to provide a health care system to be re-elected. However any health care system is always a drain on the economy for the reasons above.

    No health care system makes money like banks do.

    As money rules, Hitler's Nazi Germany could be the future...... And I am not joking!

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  • Good to see that the spirit of King Canute is alive & well & living in Whitehall

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  • The duties of a doctor registered with the General Medical Council

    Maintaining trust

    Be honest and open and act with integrity.
    Never discriminate unfairly against patients or colleagues.
    Never abuse your patients' trust in you or the public's trust in the profession.

    You are personally accountable for your professional practice and must always be prepared to justify your decisions and actions.

    I think our beloved Health minister has forgotten his duties as a Doctor and should be reported to the GMC - as dishonesty and lies, and discriminating against his colleagues, and abusing the public's trust in the profession are serious misdemeanours.

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  • Took Early Retirement

    Dead RIght Sanjeev, A doctor who has sold out and thinks he can be a politician; well, I guess it is better than having to see patients from his perspective?

    He didn't have the courtesy to answer my very moderate e-mail asking why if there is no crisis, is the talk now of Golden Hellos.

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  • No crisis at all. Which is why as a locum I am inundated with work from all across my area because practices cannot fill vacancies. There are very few positives to joining a practice at the moment and ridiculous statements like this from the government - which once again shows they do not know and do not care what is really going on - just reinforce the insecurity we are all feeling.

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  • If there is not a problem with recruitment, then why is NHS England advertising in Australia for GPs to return to UK?

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  • 'If there is not a problem with recruitment, then why is NHS England advertising in Australia for GPs to return to UK?'

    you have got it all wrong - there is no problem with recruitment they have show that they are an equals opportunity employer ...

    'GPs - come to the UK if you are a masochist and enjoy being humiliated and punished'

    i think it has something to do with 50 shades ...

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