To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he is taking to ensure that there are sufficient GPs to fill vacancies in surgeries in Devon and Cornwall.
2 September 2014
The Department set up Health Education England (HEE) to deliver a better health and healthcare workforce for England. HEE is responsible for ensuring a secure workforce supply for the future balancing need against demand, taking into account factors such as the age profile of the existing workforce, the impact of technology, and new drugs.
The Department has recognised the need to increase the general practitioner (GP) workforce and between September 2010 and September 2013, the number of full time equivalent GPs has risen by 1,051. Additionally, the Department has included in the HEE mandate a requirement that “HEE will ensure that 50% of trainees completing foundation level training enter GP training programmes by 2016”.
Further work is being undertaken by HEE to improve applications and fill rate in to GP training to support the mandate target of 3,250 appointments into GP training by 2016 in England. This includes a review of the GP recruitment process, developing a pre-GP year to give exposure to prospective GP applicants of the specialty and careers advice for foundation doctors and medical students.
In recognition of the contribution the GP workforce makes in the National Health Service, HEE will also undertake additional work on GP recruitment and retention, return to practice and reducing attrition rates, all of which will play a part in increasing the GP workforce.