Latest data shows NHS workforce crisis is ‘blighting general practice’, says BMA

by BMA media team

Press release from the BMA.

Location: England
Last reviewed: 9 December 2021

Responding to the latest GP workforce data from NHS Digital today, Dr Farah Jameel, GPC chair at the BMA, said: 

“These figures further underline the extent of the workforce crisis blighting general practice in England – fewer GPs, ultimately means fewer family doctors able to provide patients with the care they need. In the last six years, we’ve lost the equivalent of 1,744 full-time, fully qualified GPs – with 40 more having now left the workforce in the last month, a total of 321 since last December alone.

“All GPs and their teams want to be able to provide is the best care that meets their patients’ needs, but with such a depleted workforce they are increasingly unable to meet complexity and demand in a way that is timely, effective and ultimately, safe – for patients or themselves.

“We know that GPs and their teams continue to work harder than ever before. For example, the number of standard appointments in general practice – that’s excluding Covid vaccination appointments - rose by 1.8million from September to October alone to 30million. However, the fewer doctors we have, the more they are expected to take on between them, and by doing so push themselves further into exhaustion. This is not sustainable.

“The last twenty months have seen GPs go to incredible lengths for their patients. We are committed to working with Government and policymakers to create and deliver solutions that focus on recruiting, training, and retaining doctors who have the energy and time needed to provide the highest quality of care for our patients.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

The BMA is a trade union and professional association 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.