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Number of GPs in decline for first time in 50 years

Published on 08/05/19 at 09:49am

The number of GPs has been in decline, year on year, since 2014. The decline marks the first sustained fall in the number of NHS GPs for more than 50 years.

Analysis by the Nuffield Trust for the BBC has found that the number of GPs has fallen from 65 per 100,000 people in 2014, to 60 per 100,000 last year.

The decline marks the first sustained fall in the number of GPs working for the NHS since the 1960s.

Analysis shows that numbers fell in the 1960s before four decades of continuous growth between the 1970s and 2009, during which numbers peaked at 66.5 GPs per 100,000 people.

The decline in the number of GPs means the average doctor now has to look after 125 more patients than they did in 2014.

The Nuffield trust believes the NHS would have to hire another 3,500 GPs to get back to the position it was in in 2014.

Dr Helen Stokes-Lampard, president of the Royal College of GPs, said: “General practice cannot be allowed to fail. It is an absolute cornerstone of the NHS.”

Louis Goss

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