I hear a bid of 5,000 new GPs. Do I hear 6,000?
With such a quiet week in politics, we’ve been scrabbling around for some news from the parties. So thank you to Jonathan Ashworth, the shadow health secretary, for providing us with a line – the Labour Party will increase GP training places to 5,000, from 3,500. Hurrah!
Stop me if you have heard this one before. In 2015, there was the famous pledge from then health secretary Jeremy Hunt to increase GP numbers by 5,000 by 2020. We know how that has gone. But less remembered were the pledges by Labour and UKIP for 8,000 new GPs, and – quite bizarrely – a boast from the Lib Dems they would stump up enough funding for 38,000 new GPs (although they added that 5,000 was more likely).
In this week of all weeks, it would be appreciated if they told the truth too
Now, I have nothing against Mr Ashworth. And I hope he is correct. But I would love it if, instead of parties giving these meaningless pledges, they would give a proper plan about how they will go about recruiting these GPs.
And, in this week of all weeks, it would be appreciated if they told the truth too. But that might be asking too much of some.
Jaimie Kaffash is editor of Pulse. Follow him on Twitter @jkaffash or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org