The number of GPs in England has fallen every year since the government first pledged to increase the family doctor workforce by 5,000, a minister has admitted. There were 29,364 full-time-equivalent GPs in post in September 2015, when the then health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, first promised to increase the total by 5,000 by 2020. However, by September 2020 the number of family doctors had dropped to 27,939, a fall of 1,425, the health minister Maria Caulfield disclosed in a parliamentary answer. And it has fallen even further since then, to 27,920, she confirmed, citing NHS workforce data.
Organisations representing GPs say their heavy workloads, rising expectations among patients, excess bureaucracy, a lack of other health professionals working alongside them in surgeries, and concern that overwork may lead to them making mistakes are prompting experienced family doctors to quit in order to improve their mental health and work-life balance.
Full story in The Guardian, 11 April 2022