General Practitioners: Vacancies:Written question - 6019

Q
(Preston)
Asked on: 21 January 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
General Practitioners: Vacancies
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many vacant GP places there are in (a) Preston, (b) Lancashire and (c) the North West; and what (i) short- and (ii) long-term steps he is taking to tackle the shortage of GPs throughout the UK.
A
Answered by: Jo Churchill
Answered on: 30 January 2020

The data requested is not available in the format requested. NHS Digital publishes vacancy data for England only. Only a small proportion of practices in England provide data to NHS Digital on the vacancies they hold. The published data is therefore of limited use and cannot be disaggregated into vacancies by region or local area.

We recognise general practice is under pressure nationally and that is why we have committed to growing the workforce by 6,000 more doctors in general practice and 6,000 more primary care professionals. This is in addition to the 20,000 primary care professionals NHS England will provide funding towards through Primary Care Networks. The full People Plan, published later this year, will set out a broader strategy for a sustainable general practice workforce and how we will meet our commitments through both recruitment and retention programmes.

Growing the workforce will mean larger teams of staff providing a wide range of care options for patients and will free up more time for doctors to focus on those with more complex needs. This, alongside additional support and increasing the use of technology in general practice, will create an extra 50 million appointments a year by 2024/25 and improve patient access to primary care services.

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