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GP forward plan failing to recruit, says royal college

Will plan meet 2020 target of extra 5,000 GPs?

NHS England’s plan for GPs is not working fast enough to recruit 5,000 more full-time equivalent GPs by 2020.

According to the Royal College of GPs’ annual assessment, General practice forward view is making good progress on many of its 100 pledges – notably the promise to spend an additional £2.4bn a year by 2020/21. The report acknowledges that more medics are entering GP training this year than last year and praised efforts to recruit more staff to wider practice teams.

However, the college commented that, despite the progress, individual GPs are not seeing change locally.

The college has analysed data from NHS Digital and member feedback collected by survey company Ipsos MORI and concluded that the promise to recruit 5,000 extra full-time GPs cannot be met unless progress accelerates.

RCGP points out that 39% of GPs say they are unlikely to be working in the profession in England in five years. This is attributed to workload pressures and working conditions it says are causing stress and burn-out.

Further information

Royal College of GPs: ‘Brain drain’ of future GPs will be disastrous for patient care and the NHS, says RCGP

Guardian: Royal College of GPs warn profession could reach ‘breaking point’