Partners look set to become a minority in the profession for the first time, GP Online analysis revealed.
There has been a 16% drop in the number of GPs in partnership roles in the UK over the last five years, according to the latest figures from NHS Digital’s twice-yearly GP workforce reports.
The workforce also rose in size by 1% in the three months to September, GP Online reported – a trend likely to be driven by the rise in the number of salaried GPs.
In a recent story for Pulse magazine, Dr Richard Fieldhouse, NASGP chair, warned that the pressure on salaried GPs would result in a ‘churn’ that leads many back into flexible, freelance, portfolio GP locum work.
He said: “Over the summer we certainly were getting more members becoming salaried GPs – but about a month after that we saw more GP locums join us. There’s a lot of churn going on.”
Now, six months on, he says, many will be looking to get back to locuming: “That’s often the time when you are appraised and a lot of these posts that were vacant for so long and suddenly got filled, some will have been unfilled for good reason.
“A GP I know of recently came back to locum work because they were concerned about patient safety at the practice they’d joined.”