2 June 2017

New Workforce Figures 'Seriously Concerning', Says RCGP

Responding to the latest NHS Digital figures on GP workforce in England and Wales, published today, Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, RCGP Chair, said:

“It’s frustrating that we can’t make a direct comparison between these figures, and those from the same time last year, given changes in the way the data has been collected – very soon this is going to be necessary in order to fairly evaluate the progress of NHS England’s GP Forward View, and the promise that was made to us for 5,000 more full-time equivalent GPs by 2020.

“Of course any rise in GP numbers is encouraging, and we are seeing a small rise since the last figures in December – but we are still way off GP Forward View target, and indeed since September last year these figures show a drop of 381 GPs, which is a serious concern.

“Workload in general practice is soaring – 16% over the last seven years according to the latest research -  yet our workforce has not risen in step, and is now actually reducing. This isn’t acceptable.

“The new government, whatever it looks like, must prioritise the recruitment of new GPs, the retention of existing GPs and make it easier for qualified GPs to return to the profession after a career break if we are to continue delivering the care our patients need and deserve.

“Ahead of the General Election in June we are calling on all political parties to increase investment for general practice and significantly boost the GP workforce. The future of the NHS, and patient care relies on it.”

Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7574/7575/7581
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659


The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 50,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.