This site is intended for health professionals only

New GPs: how many are the manifestos promising?

Conservative party logo - online

Conservative party logo – online


Surprisingly, no mention of GP numbers at all, just that training 1,500 more medical students a year will ensure the NHS trains ‘the doctors our hospitals and surgeries need’. Enabling the 140,000 staff from EU countries to stay in the UK will be a ‘priority’ in negotiations, but no promises at all on this.

Labour party logo - online

Labour party logo – online


Will re-introduce bursaries, funding for health-related degrees and investment in the training, education and development of doctors ‘throughout their careers’. Immediate guarantee that EU workers can stay. Again, no specific mention of GP numbers (they have dropped their 2015 promise to train 8,000 more GPs) although they will have a ’long-term workforce plan for our health service that gives staff the support they need to do the best for their patients’.

Liberal Democrats party logo - online

Liberal Democrats party logo – online

Liberal Democrats

Will produce a national workforce strategy, ensuring that ‘we never again experience a shortage in the numbers of GPs, hospital doctors, nurses and other professionals that the NHS needs’.

Green party logo

Green party logo

Green Party

No specific policies mentioned.




SNP logo

SNP logo


The party will ensure there is ’an increase in the numbers of GPs and nurses working in our communities’, although is vague on numbers. SNP MPs will  to press the UK government to immediately protect the right of NHS workers to live and work in Scotland and the UK.


Plaid Cymru logo

Plaid Cymru logo

Plaid Cymru

Will train and recruit an additional 1000 doctors and 5000 nurses for the Welsh NHS in the next decade. We will also establish a medical school in the north of Wales.


UKIP party logo - online

UKIP party logo – online


The manifesto promises more than any other – some 10,000 additional GPs by 2025. The party will also introduce new funding arrangements incentivising GPs to work in geographical areas ‘most in need’. UKIP will lift the cap on medical school training places from 7,500 to 10,000 to ’make sure no suitable A grade student fails to get a place’. And if medical students commit to working within the NHS for at least ten out of the fifteen years after they qualify, the party says it will ’cover the cost of all their tuition fees’.

Pulse reality check

The Conservatives seem to have forgotten their promise to train 5,000 additional GPs by 2020 (quelle surprise) and instead are trumpeting their plans to boost medical trainees in general. UKIP seem to have discovered the magic GP growing tree that everyone else has missed. Elsewhere, there is little concrete evidence that the worsening shortage of GPs will be tackled after the election. Depressing reading.

This is part of a series of articles where Pulse reality checks all the manifesto promises from the main parties and their significance for GPs. Click here for all our Election 2017 coverage.