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GP recruitment set to rise


Health Minister John Denham today welcomed latest figures showing that it has become easier to recruit GPs in England.

In 1999, 86% of senior GP vacancies were filled within 12 months. This year the figure has risen to 91%. Although there was no overall vacancy rate figure in last year’s survey, this year’s figures show that 89% of all GP vacancies were filled within six months.

Speaking last week to an audience of GPs and other primary care professionals Mr Denham announced a Government review of the numbers of staff in GP surgeries and other primary care services, and of the way they work. The aim is to break down barriers between different groups of staff and ensure their skills are being used in the most effective way.

Mr Denham said:

“This survey clearly shows that being a GP is a popular option amongst doctors. But we want to make sure that primary care continues not only to thrive but to develop in response to changing demands from patients and the need to provide faster, more convenient services.”

“That’s why we’ve announced a thorough review of primary care staffing – not just of the numbers of staff, but also the way they work with each other and with other parts of the NHS. Use of the new Personal Medical Services contract by GPs is already bringing a wide range of benefits. It has been used to develop new services for specific populations such as ethnic minority communities and to attract doctors and nurses to work in deprived areas.”

“By 2004 we want to see an extra 2,000 GPs in the health service an extra 450 in training. And those figures represent the floor not the ceiling. They are just the start of a wider expansion in primary care. Our workforce review will form the basis for further expansion beyond 2004.”

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