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Change to collecting data makes counting GPs impossible, says royal college

BMJ 2017; 357 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j2594 (Published 25 May 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;357:j2594
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. London

GP numbers in England fell from September 2016 to March 2017 despite a multibillion pound rescue plan to ease shortages in general practice, figures from NHS Digital show.1 The Royal College of GPs said that a depleted GP workforce was unacceptable when the workload was “soaring.”

Provisional estimates (figures exclude locums) showed 33 423 full time equivalent (FTE) GPs at 31 March this year—down 381 from September 2016 (33 804). In the most recent quarter to March 2017, however, a small rise of 36 GPs was recorded, up from 33 387 FTEs at 31 December 2016.

In April 2016 NHS England announced extra annual investment, rising to an …

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