Responding to the latest GP workforce data, which shows a fall of 77 full-time equivalent fully-qualified GPs in England between October and November, and 471 in the 12 months to November, Dr Kieran Sharrock, BMA England GP committee acting chair, said:
“November’s statistics are another illustration of an alarming long-term and continuing trend that is seeing a haemorrhage of GPs from practices in England.
“Despite promises to recruit 5,000 – and then 6,000 – more GPs, the Government has now overseen the loss of the equivalent of more than 1,900 full-time fully-qualified GPs in England since 2015.
“That almost a quarter of this loss happened in the last 12 months alone – the biggest annual fall in almost three-and-a-half years – speaks volumes to the intense pressures that practices and staff are under. With workload demands soaring, and financial stresses on practices bearing down, alongside the impact of punitive pension rules, many GPs are having to take the difficult to decision to reduce their hours or leave altogether to protect their wellbeing.
“Rather than piling on more pressure, Government needs to show it is taking this dire workforce situation seriously and take steps to support practices, giving them the help they need to safely continue caring for patients, and in doing so encouraging more family doctors to stay in the profession when our communities need them most.”
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.