GP workforce is shrinking, says NHS

Medical training places left unfilled as pressure mounts on general practice

There is a GP workforce crisis in England, says the NHS. In a report titled ‘Securing the Future GP Workforce’, it concludes that the crisis ‘must be addressed immediately’ and that ‘evidence is also emerging that the GP workforce is now shrinking rather than growing’.

This year’s census of GPs shows that there are 356 fewer than last year, and in  some regions, only 60 per cent of places for GP training were filled.

The problem is compounded by a growing number of trained GPs leaving the workforce. According to the General Medical Council, the number of GPs in England applying for paperwork to emigrate doubled from 266 in 2009 to 529 in 2013.

Labour’s shadow Health minister Jamie Reed said:

 “Patients struggle for appointments as the number of GPs falls under David Cameron. Medical students are put off by the intolerable pressure ministers have placed on general practice. While twice as many GPs are emigrating and 60 per cent are considering early retirement. 

“David Cameron scrapped Labour’s guarantee of a GP appointment within 48 hours and now a million people turn to A&E when they can’t see their GP – a root cause of the Tory A&E crisis. That’s why the next Labour government will invest an extra £2.5 billion a year to recruit 8,000 more GPs and 20,000 nurses.”

Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.

9 Responses to “GP workforce is shrinking, says NHS”

  1. LB

    That will be the NHS that is a monopoly and hasn’t trained up GPs.

  2. Leon Wolfeson

    Except, of course, it’s not a monopoly and it’s the Government which sets GP training place numbers, not the NHS.

    But apart from that…oh, right, you’re wrong.

  3. LB

    NHS = Government you plonker.

  4. Dave Stewart

    No it doesn’t. The NHS is answerable to and funded by the government but it is not the same thing. Unless of course you think that the ministers deal with the day to day running of the NHS? NHS managers have no say whatsoever in how many GPs get trained so blaming the NHS seems a little wide of the mark.

  5. LB

    Teaching takes place in NHS hospitals.

    It’s the NHS that needs to answer for the lack of training.

    The NHS is a monopoly

  6. Dave Stewart

    Teaching takes place on building sites to (apprenticeships etc) does that mean it’s Barretts responsibility to train more brick layers? Or perhaps it’s that the place who organize the course realize that on the job training is important.

  7. LB

    I hardly see how GPs can be trained on building sites. They need to be trained in hospitals. Bar one or two exceptions that is the NHS. Unlike Barretts, they are a monopoly supplier.

    Barrettes do train people.

  8. Leon Wolfeson

    No surprise you don’t understand the structure of the NHS.

  9. Guest

    So you don’t understand what he said. As you don’t understand that the Government tells the NHS how many training slots it has, and you make up nonsense about monopolies.

    You are not required in any way to use the NHS. In fact, as you’re in Monaco….

Leave a Reply