Doubts linger over Jeremy Hunt’s pledge for 5,000 new GPs

Health secretary seemed hesitant to fully commit to Conservative’s pre-election promise in two recent speeches

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has been accused of preparing to make a U-turn over the government’s pledge to recruit 5,000 more GPs by 2020 to ease the chronic shortage of family doctors.

The status of the target, which was a key Conservative pledge during the election campaign, has come into question after Hunt appeared to cast doubt on it on two separate occasions.

In a speech in London on Wednesday, Hunt said that 5,000 was the maximum number of GPs that ministers could hope to recruit during this parliament to relieve the pressure on surgeries in England.

When launching his new deal for GPs last Friday, Hunt also said that the plan would involve some flexibility, because recruitment of trainee family doctors in some areas is proving particularly difficult.

For full article see The Guardian 24 June 2015