General Practitioners

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 1st December 2020.

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Photo of Colleen Fletcher Colleen Fletcher Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department has taken to increase the (a) retention and (b) recruitment of GPs in England.

Photo of Jo Churchill Jo Churchill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

NHS England and Health Education England are working together with the profession to increase the general practice workforce in England. This includes measures to boost recruitment, address the reasons why doctors leave the profession, and encourage them to return to practice.

This year, a record 3,793 doctors accepted a place in general practitioner (GP) speciality training against a target of 3,500. From 2021, the number of GP training places will increase to 4,000 a year and to support a more balanced distribution of trainee capacity across the National Health Service, the proportion of time GP trainees spend in general practice during training will rise from 18 to 24 months. The updated GP Contract Framework (2020) announced a number of new schemes alongside continued support for existing retention schemes to support GPs to stay in the workforce. These schemes include the GP Retention scheme, the Fellowship Programme, the New to Partnership Payment and Supporting Mentors Scheme.

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