GP trainee numbers in England have risen by 7%, beating annual targets for the third year running, Pulse reports.
In July HEE announced that ‘record-breaking’ numbers of GP trainees had been accepted following the first round of recruitment.
However, the latest workforce figures show that the NHS in England has lost the equivalent of 651 full-time GPs over the last 12 months, with a 16% decline in the number of partners over the last five years.
NASGP chair Dr Richard Fieldhouse writes: “It’s always heartening to see a growth in the number of doctors wishing to enter the profession, and Health Education England should be congratulated on their hard work to raise awareness about general practice and recruit around 250 new trainees this year.
“But HEE now needs to double-down on its efforts to retain our existing GP workforce.
“By focusing its support on the not insubstantial number of GP locums, it would not only help retain GPs who’ve already made a decision not to work in substantive posts such as partnerships, but also would result in a more engaged locum workforce that’s in a much better position to support practices and reverse the decline in GP partners.”