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GP plans will do nothing to fix recruitment crisis

October 14, 2021 9:38 AM
Originally published by Folkestone and Hythe Liberal Democrats

Responding to the government's announcement on GP services, Liberal Democrat Health and Social Care Spokesperson Munira Wilson MP said:

"These changes are a sticking plaster which won't address the GP shortage crisis that is leaving patients struggling to get appointments.

"The Conservatives have already missed their own targets to recruit and train more GPs. Now they are coming up with plans to name and shame GPs, which risks driving even more doctors away from the profession.

"The government should focus on meeting their own target of hiring 6,000 more GPs, instead of attempting to shift the blame onto doctors for their own failings."

The Liberal Democrats this week published research on the postcode lottery of care facing patients due to the GP shortage crisis. The number of people per GP in England has risen by 5% to an average of 2,038 since 2015, the analysis shows. 70 of 113 areas have seen a rise in the number of people per GP since 2015. The full data is available here.

Recent analysis from the BMA shows there are over 1,800 fewer fully qualified, full-time equivalent (FTE) GPs now than there were in 2015. Between June 2020 and July 2021, the number of GP partners fell by 918. It comes despite a Conservative manifesto commitment to recruit an additional 6,000 GPs by 2024.

Separate figures show the UK ranks 22nd out of 31 OECD countries with an average of three doctors per 1,000 people, behind Hungary and the Czech Republic and only just ahead of Brazil and Mexico.