More GPs in Nottinghamshire despite national workforce crisis warning

The number of GPs in Nottinghamshire is rising, figures show, despite warnings the NHS is facing a crippling shortage of doctors.

By Patrick Jack
Monday, 11th July 2022, 5:42 pm

The Health Foundation warns serious workforce shortfalls across English GP services pose a significant risk to the quality of health care over the next decade.

But NHS England figures show there were the equivalent of 716 full-time GPs in the NHS Nottinghamshire clinical commissioning group area at the end of May, up from 678 in June 2021.

Of them, 330 were partners, 161 were salaried GPs and 207 were in training. There were also 13 regular locum GPs, and five GPs on retainer.

The Department of Health and Social Care said a record-breaking number of GPs started training last year.

Across England, there were 35,626 GPs at the end of May, up from 34,726 at the end of June.

However, foundation analysis suggests there is a shortage of about 4,200 GPs nationwide.

Researchers project this could rise to about 10,700 by 2030-31.

The Government has promised to recruit 6,000 extra GPs by 2024, but the foundation says it is unlikely to do achieve this.

Anita Charlesworth, foundation director of research, said: “It’s sobering that over the next decade things are set to get worse, not better.

“General practice is vital for a high quality and efficient health system, but the pressures it faces are longstanding, significant, and growing.”

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She said the Government urgently needs to retain existing GPs and practice nurses, to ensure sufficient numbers are trained for the future.

The NHS England figures show the Nottinghamshire GP workforce is younger than elsewhere in the country.

Of the 716 GPs in the area in May, 82, 12 per cent, were aged under 30, compared with 8 per cent across England.

The Royal College of GPs said the worst-case scenarios of the Health Foundation findings would be a ‘disaster for patient care and the NHS as a whole’.

The Department of Health and Social Care said a record-breaking number of GPs started training last year.

A DHSC spokesman said: “We are grateful to GPs and their staff for the care they provide patients and are working hard to support and grow the workforce.

“We have invested £520 million to expand GP capacity during the pandemic, on top of £1.5 billion until 2024 and are making 4,000 training places available for GPs each year to help create an extra 50m appointments a year.”