BMA responds to latest GP workforce statistics

by BMA media team

Press release from the BMA.

Location: England
Published: Thursday 22 February 2024

Responding to the latest GP workforce statistics from NHS England for January 2024, Dr David Wrigley, deputy chair of the BMA England GP committee, said:

“It is positive to see a slight rise in GP numbers within the past month, which continues with the trend of small, sustained increased in recent months. But we cannot get away from the fact that the number of fully qualified GPs in England is way below where it should be, and the rate of increase we see is far too slow to meet the current demand on general practice. If this trend continues, it’ll take until December 2026 just to get back to the number of full-time fully qualified GPs we had in 2015 - the year which the Government promised the recruitment of 5,000 additional GPs.

“We have seen the number of fully qualified, full-time equivalent GPs decrease by almost 2,000 since 2015. With a natural population rise across the same period, those fewer GPs now have responsibility for significantly more patients - the average number of patients each full-time equivalent GP is responsible for now stands at almost 2,300, which is around 18% more patients than in 2015. Sadly it’s harder for patients to access the care they need, and unsurprisingly, our current workforce is stretched beyond capacity.

“We have the solutions to help halt the exodus of GPs, to retain the workforce we have, to return colleagues who have left, and to recruit those colleagues yet to come. At a time of significant pressure on GP practices, we need the Government to work with us and invest in general practice.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

The BMA is a professional association and trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.

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