Some CCG areas in England have almost twice as many full-time equivalent (FTE), fully-qualified GPs per patient as others
This is an edited version of an article first published by GPonline
NHS Medway CCG, in Kent, has a total of 2,917 patients per FTE fully-qualified GP – the highest number of patients per GP in the country.
In Nottinghamshire’s NHS Rushcliffe CCG, however, there are just 1,597 patients per FTE fully-qualified GP – the lowest number in England.
The findings demonstrate a deep regional divide in how the GP shortage affects patients across England.
Patients per GP in England
This latest analysis of regional variation in GP shortages comes as official figures from NHS Digital reveal that the NHS workforce in England lost 340 GPs in the year to September 2019. This is a 1.2% drop.
Over the four years since Jeremy Hunt, the previous health and social care secretary, promised to recruit an extra 5,000 FTE GPs, the number of FTE, fully-qualified GPs has dropped by 1,088.
Regional variation in patients per GP does not proportionally reflect variation in workload for GPs, because factors such as age, deprivation and disease prevalence play a key role in determining workload.
However, it is clearly a significant contributing factor – and many of the areas with the highest numbers of patients per GP also have high numbers of older patients.
Several of the major political parties have included promises to increase numbers of GPs in their manifestos ahead of the 12 December general election.