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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Record numbers of GPs quitting general practice

By Gareth Iacobucci

The proportion of the GP workforce leaving the profession is at its highest rate in a decade, according to new figures.

An analysis by the NHS information Centre shows the leavers rate in general practice, defined as the proportion of the workforce who leave the profession annually, was 7.8% in 2009 - the highest rate for 10 years. 2,798 GPs left the profession in 2009, up from 1,756 the previous year.

The figures show that 57% of leavers are male, with the majority aged 55 years and older. In contrast, most of the 43% of female leavers are aged under 45.

The proportion of new entrants and returners to general practice fell to 8.9% of the workforce in 2010, after a 10% increase in 2009, with 55% of joiners now female.

The findings come against a backdrop of widespread anxiety among GPs about the Government's controversial plans to raise the retirement age to 65, and subsequently 68.

A Pulse survey of 200 GPs this week found that more than a third plan to retire as a GP before the proposed changes come in, following a surge of anger at the plans laid out in Lord Hutton's report, which were approved for consultation in today's Budget.

Record numbers of GPs are leaving general practice, according to figures from the NHS Information Centre Record numbers of GPs are leaving general practice, according to figures from the NHS Information Centre

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