GP numbers are not shrinking but demand is swallowing the extra workforce, MPs told

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 05 November 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h5944
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. 1London

The number of new GPs joining general practice is steady and rising slightly despite widespread perceptions that the workforce is shrinking, MPs have been told.

However, rising demand from a growing older population has meant that the supply is effectively being “mopped up,” workforce experts told the parliamentary health committee during the first evidence session for its inquiry into primary care held on 3 November.

The inquiry is focusing on the recommendations from the Primary Care Workforce Commission report, which was published in July.1 These recommendations included running pilots of GPs communicating with patients vie email; greater collaboration between organisations; and the involvement of a broader range of staff in the delivery of healthcare, such as pharmacists, physician associates, and medical assistants.

MPs asked about the government’s plans to have an additional 5000 whole time equivalent doctors working …

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