Intended for healthcare professionals


GP numbers rise in England, mainly owing to more trainees

BMJ 2019; 365 doi: (Published 30 May 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;365:l2393
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. London

The number of GPs working in England has crept up in the past year, a rise almost entirely accounted for by an increase in GP trainees.

In March 2019 England’s GPs totalled 44 847, a rise of 350 (0.8%) on the same month in 2018. The full time equivalent count, which allows for some GPs working only part time, showed a similar increase, rising from 34 424 to 34 736 (0.9%).1

But closer examination of the data released by NHS Digital shows that the headcount of fully qualified GPs fell by 494 year on year, while the number of trainees increased by 760. The great majority of these new recruits to the GP workforce were trained in the UK, lending credence to NHS England’s claim that plans to increase recruitment are working.

Less time available

“Today’s figures highlight the good work being done locally to support GPs through retention …

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