GP partners now make up just over half of total number of UK GPs

12th November 2020 by NASGP

GP partners now make up just over half of total number of UK GPs

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.” 

‘Vacant posts’

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.”

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