GP Numbers

Over the next couple of weeks, you may hear talk about numbers of GPs and perhaps promises to increase them. It is important to look at the facts. In February 2020 the Government committed funding to recruit an additional 6000 GPs by 2024. However as of April 2024, only 2718 full time equivalent GPs have been recruited. This is 1759 fewer compared to September 2015

Number of GPs in training have risen, which is great news, but unfortunately, we are now seeing a rise in the number of GPs not being able to find work. We have a situation where doctors who have dedicated their professional life to training for many years to be a GP are unable to find a job. These GPs are wanting to see patients, are wanting to provide high quality care and wanting to reduce the time from booking an appointment to being seen. Instead, they are needing to look at other options for work, in some cases outside of medicine and for others abroad.

There are many reasons behind this but as with many things it comes down to funding and how practices are allowed to use the funding they receive.

The amount of funding to General Practice has been eroded year on year and the new money that is coming in has significant restrictions attached to it. The most important is that it cannot be used to recruit additional GPs.

This issue has been raised in recent discussions about contracts, but there has been no change. More work needs to be done by Government to consider General Practice funding and contracts to ensure that we can provide the right care, by the right clinician, at the right time for our patient population.

Please discuss this with your Prospective Parliamentary Candidates if you get the
opportunity and with our elected MP after the election.