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General Practitioners

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN HL7543, tabled on 3 May 2018

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ensure that GP capacity is maintained to meet current and expected levels of demand.

Answered on

16 May 2018

The General Practice Forward View, published in April 2016, commits increasing investment in general practice by £2.4 billion a year by 2020/21 from £9.6 billion in 2015/16 to over £12 billion by 2020/21 – a 14% real-terms increase. It will improve patient care and access, and invest in new ways of providing primary care. As part of this package NHS England is investing £500 million in a national sustainability and transformation package to support general practitioner (GP) practices, which includes additional funds from local clinical commissioning groups. It includes help for struggling practices, plans to reduce workload, expansion of a wider workforce, investment in technology and estates and a national development programme to speed up transformation of services. A copy of the General Practice Forward View is attached.

By 2020 there will be an extra 1,500 students doctors entering training each year. The new places are being allocated to schools which have demonstrated a commitment to sending more trainees to rural or coastal areas and increasing the number of GPs and mental health specialists.

Health Education England has made 3,250 places in GP speciality training available per year since 2016. In 2017, there were 3,157 doctors recruited to speciality GP training posts. To bridge the gap whilst doctors are in training, in August 2017, NHS England announced plans to accelerate its international recruitment to 2,000 GPs in the next three years. We also have a broad offer to support GPs to remain in the National Health Service: GP Career Plus, The GP Retention Scheme, and The National GP Induction and Refresher Scheme to help GPs back into the NHS.