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GPs go forth

​Workforce figures worse than official report suggests, BMA warns

The GP workforce figures released yesterday mask the reality that there are almost 450 fewer qualified GPs working than in 2015, the BMA has warned.

Headline workforce figures released by NHS Digital yesterday show that there were 350 fewer full-time equivalent GPs in June 2017 than in September 2015 - although there was a 0.9% increase from March to June this year.

However, the BMA has said that this doesn't tell the full story, because the figures now include trainee doctors - unlike the equivalent figures for secondary care.

The workforce lead on the BMA’s GP Committee, Dr Krishna Kasaraneni, told Pulse that there are, in fact, '439 fewer full time GPs since 2015’ when only fully trained GPs are counted.

This shows a 'lack of progress' on Jeremy Hunt’s 2015 commitment of training and retaining another 5,000 GPs by 2020, he said - something Pulse has revealed in its own analysis.

Dr Kasaraneni told Pulse: ‘We are now half way through that ambitious timetable and sadly the omens for success are at best disappointing.'

He added that even the 5,000 target wasn't adequate. He said: 'Arbitrary numbers of 5000, 8000, 10,000 or whatever the next think tank come up with are meaningless. Address the workload, increase funding and decrease bureaucracy and that will ensure qualified GPs are retained and sufficient numbers of medical students and foundation doctors choose general practice as a career.'

Readers' comments (2)

  • AlanAlmond

    This shitty country doesn't think it needs any GPs...but then again this shitty country expects everyone to be able to see a GP 7 days a week 24 hours a day without waiting for an appointment. This shitty county doesn't think it's worth while paying for a primary care service ..and yet this shitty country is populated with people a significant proportion of whom can't tolerate a blocked nose for more than two days without seeking a consultation with a Dr who's been trained for 10 years. This shitty county stinks.

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  • In 1948 they didn't nationalise GP's because they didn't think they would be needed in the utopia of universal healthcare. Since then there have been waxing and waning of the importance of Primary care. Simon Stevens has said no primary care no NHS. A couple more years and Jeremy's desire to denationalise the NHS will happen and the blame will lie with the Doctors who left the service. Patients still want a family doctor but will have to pay like pre 1948.

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