Family doctors have been leaving the National Health Service at a rate of more than 400 a month, threatening the government’s pledge to ensure general practitioners can provide the public with a seven-day-a-week operation. A total of 5,159 GPs departed from the NHS in England between April 2016 and March 2017, according to NHS Digital, which collects health data. The figures emerged after the Financial Times revealed that recruitment agencies could be paid up to £100m by the NHS to find 5,000 GPs — about half of them from overseas — to fill worsening staffing gaps in England. But this recruitment drive may not be enough to enable the government hit its target for GPs to provide a seven-day service to the public by 2020.
Full story in The FT, 3 September 2017