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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Some areas of England needing more than 50% boost to GP numbers, claims RCGP

RCGP has warned of a crucial shortage of GPs across England which it claimed will see many areas needing more than a 50% boost in GP numbers in five years.

Its analysis, based on the latest Patient Survey statistics, also claimed that patients will be waiting more than a week to see a GP or practice nurse on 67 million occasions already in 2015.

Bexley in southeast London came out as the neediest CCG area based on the RCGP calculation, requiring an uplift of 87% in the number of full-time equivalent GPs working there in the next five years, followed by Redbridge in east London, which needs 85% more, and Swale in Kent, needing 74%.

In all, 16 areas will need at least a 50% increase of full-time equivalent GPs including parts of Kent, Yorkshire, Essex, Berkshire and the Midlands, the college claimed.

The RCGP, which has previously called for 10,000 more GPs by 2022 , said the huge increase in the need for GPs was driven by the growing population.

RCGP chair Dr Maureen Baker said all political parties were now ‘increasingly understanding’ that sufficient numbers of GPs are ‘key to ensuring that the NHS is sustainable for the future’.

For example, the Government most recently acknowledged the GP workforce challenge by launching a £10m, 10-point plan to boost GP recruitment and retention.

Dr Baker said: ‘We have only one chance to deliver 8,000 GPs over the course of the next Parliament. The 10-point workforce plan recently launched by NHS England and Health Education England gives us a real opportunity to build up the GP workforce that the nation needs and it is vital that politicians and our partner organisations work with us to make this happen.

‘Only through properly resourcing and supporting general practice can we ensure that patients receive the care that they want and need in the community. Our patients deserve access to excellent GP care and services wherever in the country they live. Today’s figures show how critical it is to act now if we are to have enough GPs to meet all our patients’ needs over the next five years.’

The Labour Party has promised to pay for the recruitment of 8,000 new GPs if it is in Government for the next five-year period, while the Conservatives have promised 5,000.

Only last week health minister Dr Dan Poulter expressed doubts over claims there is a GP recruitment crisis but Pulse revealed NHS England has even begun advertising in GP press overseas to attract returners from Australia.

Areas RCGP claims will need the largest percentage increase of GPs within five years:

  • Bexley will need an uplift of 87% (83 additional full time equivalent GPs)
  • Redbridge will need an uplift of 85% (106 additional FTE GPs)
  • Swale will need an uplift of 74% (36 additional FTE GPs)
  • Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley will need an uplift of 67% (76 additional FTE GPs)
  • North Kirklees will need an uplift of 60% (52 additional FTE GPs)
  • Slough will need an uplift of 59% (41 additional FTE GPs)
  • Warrington will need an uplift of 57% (55 additional FTE GPs)
  • Corby will need an uplift of 57% (18 additional FTE GPs)
  • Luton will need an uplift of 56% (58 additional FTE GPs)
  • Barking and Dagenham will need an uplift of 56% (56 additional FTE GPs)

And the areas needing the greatest increase in GPs in terms of actual numbers within five years:

  • Nene will need 165 additional FTE GPs (an uplift of 55%)
  • Cambridgeshire and Peterborough will need 132 additional full time equivalent GPs (an uplift of 26%)
  • East and North Hertfordshire will need 126 additional FTE GPs (an uplift of 44%)
  • Birmingham Crosscity will need 122 additional full time equivalent GPs (an uplift of 29%)
  • West Kent will need 114 additional FTE GPs (an uplift of 48%)
  • West Hampshire will need 109 additional FTD GPs (an uplift of 37%)
  • Herts Valleys will need 108 additional FTE GPs (an uplift of 33%)
  • Redbridge will need 106 additional FTE GPs (an uplift of 85%)
  • Dorset will need 105 additional full time equivalent GPs (an uplift of 23%)
  • Gloucestershire will need 105 additional full time equivalent GPs (an uplift of 31%)

Source: RCGP

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Readers' comments (7)

  • interesting as

    1. many gps have said they are going to retire early - i.e. a loss of numbers
    2. because of all the increasing **** that is going in GPs direction a lot of medical students are rightly put off training as GPs i.e. reduction in recruitment
    3. there is a global shortage of GPs and many GPs i know are cross training into related non-clinical careers or going into non-clinical business (property etc) i.e. further loss of numbers
    4. many GPs are cutting their hours and going into portfolio careers to avoid burnout i.e further loss of numbers
    5. demand from increasing population eg new house building
    6. more complex cases as numbers of elderly increase
    7. patients are generally being more demanding and having higher expectations i.e. more demand
    8. leaders and politicians want GPs to do even more

    this is a perfect storm and unless the profession can be made more attractive then expect things to get worse.

    how to make it more attractive ?

    1. be honest about tackling demand
    2. support GPs in doing their job
    3. cut out unnecessary paperwork
    4. properly fund the service to make it attractive to new comers - we need salaries of about 200k a year to boost intake

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  • Good luck UK!!

    What did they think the result would be of:

    1. 10 years of constant media bashing and denigration

    2. Removing autonomy and clinical expertise from decision making and patient care

    3. Undermining the relationship between doctor and patient

    4. Massively increasing demand from the public to access services whilst cutting funding provision and claiming to increase quality.

    5. Dividing the profession into two groups- the haves/ have mores and those under 50 who will have to work until 67 with significantly increased pension contributions.

    6. Promotion of a culture of fear by encouragement of complaints, persecution of whistleblowers, removal of legal standards ( burden of proof)in fitness to practice cases and creation of sinister quangos such as the CQC.

    7. Micromanagement at every level to the point at which a GP is unable to do his/ her job because they are drowning in pointless unnecessary paperwork such as referral/ prescribing/ admission audits, appraisal and re validation paperwork...........

    8. Successive pay cuts ignoring the advice of an independent pay review body

    9. Destabilising practices by removing funding such as MPIG and undermining a successful partnership model by withdrawing seniority.

    I could go on and on...................one can see the model of uk general practice is a totalitarian crypto fascist Orwellian police state that is now obsolete because the "proles" are rebelling and no longer wish to play ball.


    GPs don't want a 10 point plan .....they want their freedom and dignity back.

    In the words of William Wallace

    " I tell you a truth, liberty is the best of all things, my son, never live under any slavish bond"

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  • Telling it like it is!

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  • @5.35. Well put

    I would add to that information overload. I recently did a few locums in a vision practice, having retired early. The constant pop-ups on screen were distracting and detrimental to the consultation and gave me a headache. It is not possible to think, listen and obey the demands of the computer at the same time.
    Because if all of the above, I will not be doing any more locums.

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  • GP recruitment will only improve if either

    1. The job becomes enjoyable and better paid or

    2. There are no longer better alternatives

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  • If you really want to know how bad it's going to get have a read of this. It has already started under the radar. Forget about just GPs for a moment, it is the whole NHS, education, police, legal system, social security, BANKS, human rights, corporate take over...

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Austerity-Demolition-Welfare-Zombie-Economy-ebook/dp/B00RVXBFWQ

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  • You're in trouble now Maureen, your de facto boss Dan Poulter has said there is no recruitment crisis. Expect a slap down from him and in a few days you retracting your statement and telling us there is an over-supply of GPs.

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