To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the British Medical Association's analysis of pressures in general practice and the equivalent of 1,704 fewer full-time GPs as of September 2021 than in 2015, published 1 December 2021, what strategies his Department has developed to recruit, train and retain GPs in (a) Slough, (b) the South East, (c) England and (d) the UK.
We are working with NHS England and NHS Improvement, Health Education England and the profession to boost recruitment, address the reasons why doctors leave the profession, and encourage them to return to practice. To boost recruitment, we have increased the number of GP training places. The highest ever number of doctors accepted a place on GP training this year - a record 4,000 trainees, up from 2,671 in 2014.
The updated GP Contract Framework announced a number of new retention schemes alongside continued support for existing schemes for the general practice workforce. These include the GP Retention Scheme, the International Induction Programme, the Return to Practice Programme, the Fellowship Programme, the New to Partnership Payment and Supporting Mentors Scheme.
The Department has not developed strategies for Slough or the South East. NHS England and NHS Improvement’s regional teams continue to deliver these initiatives at a local level to increase the number of doctors in general practice. Elsewhere in the United Kingdom, this is a devolved matter.