New figures echo College concerns around unemployment issues for GPs

Following the College's own research on the struggles GPs are having finding employment, published earlier this week, Kamila Hawthorne has responded to a BMA survey that has found that 80% of locum GPs struggled to find work and that 33% had definite plans to change their career within the year. 

Professor Kamila Hawthorne, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: "These concerning findings chime with our own research that has shown six out of 10 job-seeking GPs have struggled to find a vacancy to apply for in the past year, with this figure rising to 72% for GPs in training.

"It makes no sense at all that GPs are struggling to find jobs when general practice is working under such intense pressures, our patients are struggling to access timely GP care, and frankly, we’re in desperate need of more GPs. There are clearly underlying issues around how general practice is funded that need to be addressed urgently - specifically, we need to see funding currently ringfenced for non-GP clinicians working in general practice expanded, so that practices can use it to employ GPs.

"It’s particularly worrying to hear that the shortage of work being reported may be disincentivising GPs and pushing them out of the profession entirely. We need more GPs, not fewer, to ensure our patients receive the care they need – and when the estimated cost of training a GP is over £200K, it’s tragic that we’re hearing these reports.  

"General practice is the bedrock of the NHS, making the majority of patient contacts and in turn alleviating pressures across the health service, but it has reached crisis point. Ahead of the General Election, we urgently need all political parties to commit to substantially increasing the funding for general practice to sort out this mess and get general practice back on track. Additional funding is just one of the seven solutions set out in our own General Election manifesto to ensure that general practice has a future and that there are enough GPs to give patients the care they deserve."

Further information

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Notes to editors

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 54,000 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.