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Minister promises to look into GP recruitment needs following Pulse report

The minister responsible for general practice has promised to review the Government’s target of 5,000 extra GPs, amid concerns highlighted by Pulse.

Quoting this morning’s top story, which said at least 12,000 more GPs will be required to meet demand in 2020, the minister for community health and care David Mowat said he would ‘look at that with interest’.

Addressing the RCGP annual conference in Harrogate today, he said: ‘I’ve very proudly talked to you about having 5,000 more GPs by 2020… However I think there was a press release yesterday from Pulse saying there should be 12,000.

‘I haven’t seen the detail of that but I’ll look at that with interest because there is always more to do and maybe it is right they challenge us and we understand why they believe that.’

Researchers from Imperial College found that health secretary Jeremy Hunt’s pledge to boost GP numbers by 5,000 by 2020 will deliver fewer than half the number needed to fill the UK’s growing workforce deficit, and an extra 12,000 was the most ‘optimistic’ scenario.

The researchers further told Pulse that GP numbers were already 3,800 short, compared to the optimum for meeting demand – two years ago.

Previous modelling by Pulse has shown that the Government is struggling to even meet the 5,000 target, being on course to have just 2,100 extra GPs by 2020.