The BMA has warned that the GP workforce is not growing quickly enough to cope with current demand.
Workforce statistics from March 2021 show that the GP workforce has only grown by 111 fully-qualified GPs since March 2020. There has also been a 2.8% increase for all FTE GPs, including registrars, Pulse reports.
But FTE numbers fell by over 900 in the year to March 2021, and a recent investigation by Pulse revealed that almost 100 GP practices closed last year.
Dr Richard Fieldhouse, chair of the NASGP, said: “This report is interesting for two reasons.
“The first of course is that these data suggest that the dial is just simply not moving in any significant way, and the BMA’s alarm over this must be heeded.
“The second point is about the capability of the NHS to collect and report GP workforce data that can be used to plan and support the GP workforce. NHS Digital only uses data from England – this is not clear in the reporting – and counted nearly 36,000 GP partners or salaried GPs, as compared to the GMC’s figures for all GPs in England of 58,500. This suggests a figure of 22,500 fully qualified licensed GPs in England who are neither a partner or salaried GP, many of whom will be working as GP locums.
“As the leading membership body for GP locums in the UK, we know our members are doing their best to support patients and colleagues during this crisis, and we do all we can to support their work at this vital time.”