NHS Confederation responds to the latest GP workforce statistics

Ruth Rankine responds to the latest GP workforce statistics

23 March 2023

Responding to the publication of general practice workforce statistics for February 2023, Ruth Rankine, director of primary care at the NHS Confederation, said:

“Another year on year drop in the number of full-time equivalent, fully qualified GPs is disappointing news for the health service, the government, patients and GPs themselves.

“The government is way off track in its target of 6000 more GPs by 2025, and so must be honest with the public about what general practice and primary care can actually deliver in the next few years. With a 2.8% increase in the number of patients per practice, and a 1.5% fall in the number of GP practices in total, realism is needed just as much as a boost to staff numbers.

"Although great progress has been made in recruiting staff via the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) in Primary Care Networks (PCNs), GPs are the bedrock of primary care. 

“We know that GPs are under immense pressure with a majority saying that their job is extremely stressful. This downward trend in terms of staffing must be halted, and the workforce plan must address how this will be done, otherwise we risk this becoming a vicious circle where staff leave due to workload pressures, caused by having too few staff.”