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NHS revises down estimate for number of EU GPs recruited by April

NHS England’s estimate for the number of GPs to be recruited from the EU by the end of March is lower than initially reported, according board papers.

In the latest board paper, NHS England has said they expect 100 GPs to be recruited from overseas by 31 March 2018 – compared with the 600 they originally planned to recruit.

This comes after NHS England initially published a board paper, which said they expected 130 international GPs to be recruited by that time -which NHS England now claims was a typo.

The first paper was removed from the NHS England website after Pulse queried why the target to recruit 600 GPs from the EU by April had been missed.

NHS England then denied that there was a target to recruit 600 GPs by 2017/18, instead claiming that there was a commitment to begin recruitment of 600 roles within 2017/18, before removing the board paper from its website.

However, the latest document, which was republished today, said: ‘The international GP recruitment programmes are reporting that a total of 100 GPs are expected to be recruited by 31 March 2018.’

Dr Arvind Madan, NHS England’s national director for primary care, told Pulse in August that the target was to have ‘appointed 600 GPs who will then be available to work in practices’ by April 2018.

Responding to the missed target, GP leaders said it is ‘important that this programme works well and delivers as soon as possible’.