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GPs go forth

Situation vacant: the GP shortage in numbers

Pulse survey reveals record vacancy levels

Pulse’s annual UK-wide survey of GP vacancy rates – the best measure in the absence of any official data on practice vacancies – has revealed that around 12% of all GP posts in the UK are vacant, the highest proportion ever recorded.

The GPC said workload pressures on GPs were pushing up vacancy rates and reiterated its call for NHS England to allow practices to close their lists. Chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said: ‘The pressures of being a permanent GP are such that people are leaving in droves to become salaried GPs or locums.’

GPs told Pulse they have had to recruit additional nursing staff as they have been unable to attract GPs.

Essex GP Dr Hannah Casey said: ‘I am now a locum. We handed back our contract last year after failing to recruit. I am not surprised by this increase and can only see the situation getting worse. We had already replaced a GP with two nurse practitioners and a physician assistant. However, you still need GPs.’

Dr Catherine Smith, a GP in Keighley, Yorkshire, said: ‘I’m not surprised [about vacancy rates increasing]. We have recruited ANPs and pharmacists as there are no GPs.’

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datalowdown gp shortage figures 580x1065px


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Readers' comments (6)

  • Vinci Ho

    So the government is crying there is no money . So these incentives are just money 'saved' from closing down surgeries? Obviously , not new investment then ?

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  • prediction of vacancy rates

    2017 14%
    2018 16.5 %
    2019 19 %
    2020 21.5 %

    by the time the 5YF plan comes in there may not be many practices left.

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  • I would love to know where practices have found ANPs. We can't even find practice nurses in London, let alone GPs who are only available as locums

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  • Long past time to resign Hunt and Simon
    This feeble smug pair are walking national disasters responsible for this major national crisis in so many other parts of the English NHS too
    In the name of God:go
    We desperately need COMPETENT leadership

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  • This comment has been moderated

  • The RCGP welcome this finding and look forward to engaging with the Department of Health in innovative and exciting programmes to celebrate the dynamic nature of primary care.

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  • ha ha I like that last comment!

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