House of Commons Library

Recruitment and retention of GPs

Published Tuesday, March 27, 2018

This House of Commons Library Debate Pack briefing has been prepared in advance of a debate entitled “Recruitment and retention of GPs”. This will be led by Bridget Phillipson MP and will take place in Westminster Hall at 2.30pm on Wednesday 28th March 2018.

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This briefing provides background information, parliamentary material, press articles, and further suggested reading which Members may find useful.

NHS recruitment and retention drives in England will often be found locally, rather than nationally.  The Department of Health & Social Care sets the education and training outcomes for the NHS and secures the necessary resources. 

The General Practice Forward View, published in April 2016, committed the Government to strengthening the general practice workforce in England. It set out investment of an extra £2.4 billion a year by 2020/21 to support and grow general practice services. As part of this, it included a Government commitment to increase the number of “doctors in general practice by a minimum of 5,000” by 2020, with over 15,000 GPs being trained between 2015 and 2020.  It also committed the Government to attract and retain “at least an extra 500 GPs back into English general practice”.

This debate pack briefing outlines the various recruitment and retention initiatives undertaken by the Government and NHS England to meet these objectives, as well as providing the policy context and the latest statistics showing GP numbers and the proportion of medical students recruited to GP speciality training in 2017.  Overall, there were 27,930 GPs in England in December 2017, which is 0.8% lower than in December 2016 and 4.5% lower than in September 2015.

This briefing focuses almost exclusively on England.

Commons Debate packs CDP-2018-0080

Authors: Andrew Mackley; Alex Bate; Carl Baker

Topics: Health services, Health staff and professions

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