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FTE GP numbers up 1,200, claims NHS England

FTE GP numbers up 1,200, claims NHS England

NHS England claimed that full-time equivalent GP numbers are up by 1,200 compared with 2019 as part of its case for general practice to provide more appointments.

However, it emerged that the figures picked out in the plan include all GPs in training.

The claim was made in NHS England’s ‘plan for improving access for patients and supporting general practice’ – published today – in which it said ‘much more still needs to be done’ on GP numbers.

It said the latest comparable figures – for June 2021 and June 2019 – showed there were now over 1,200 more FTE GPs than two years ago and a headcount increase of almost 2,500.

But when GPs in training were excluded, there was an increase of only 101 FTE GPs in that time – from  27,651 in June 2019 and 27,752 in June

The NHS Digital data has also previously been dismissed by GP leaders as ‘disingenuous’, due to a change in the methodology that has seen historic estimates of workforce numbers removed.

BMA GP Committee chair Dr Richard Vautrey said in August that the methodology change makes the decrease in the GP workforce look ‘less than the actual reality shown across previous datasets’.

NHS Digital said the historic estimates had been removed to ‘improve accuracy’.

Outlining its £250m package for GPs, NHS England said it was working with commissioners to ‘strengthen their existing plans’ to boost GP numbers towards the 6,000 Government pledge.

It added that 3,793 GP speciality training places were filled in the first recruitment round this year, and ‘the ambition’ is to get to 4,000 in the second round.

NHS England is also expecting all parts of the country to have established a ‘digital locum bank model or equivalent’ by December and the £250m can be used to support ‘optimal use’ of this.  

‘GP expansion plans, already being finalised by every system, will need to include significantly increased uptake in the use of GP recruitment and retention initiatives, including the GP fellowship scheme, the mentorship scheme, and the new to partnership payment,’ it added.

NHS England said it was working with the BMA and the RCGP to promote the schemes and examine further steps that may be required, ‘including by setting up a new national advisory group’.



Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

Turn out The Lights 15 October, 2021 2:18 pm

Smell the stick of the BS>

Nathaniel Dixon 15 October, 2021 2:21 pm

Fed up with NHSE gaslighting the profession

Kevlar Cardie 15 October, 2021 3:14 pm

Where ? Auckland ?

Doc Getmeout 15 October, 2021 3:18 pm
Less GPs yet:
‘In August 2021, there were 1.21 million appointments every working day, including for Covid-19 vaccination delivered in general practice, which is an 8.6% increase compared to the same time in 2019.’

Yes Mr SJ We are working harder than ever – !!!!!!!

Dr N 15 October, 2021 5:09 pm

Can I have one?

Dermot Ryan 18 October, 2021 11:00 am

NHSE are a discreditted organisation, well past it’s sell by date. The problem is that when it is disbanded the same leaders will not be made redundant but promoted to ruin another part of the NHS.