Family doctor numbers rise in Northumberland

The number of family doctors in Northumberland is rising, despite warnings that the NHS is facing a crippling shortage of GPs.

By Patrick Jack
Wednesday, 6th July 2022, 10:15 am
Northumberland GP numbers.
Northumberland GP numbers.

NHS England figures show there were the equivalent of 237 full-time GPs in the NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group area at the end of May – up from 225 in June last year.

The data shows 99 were partners, 77 were salaried, and 57 were in training.

There were also three locums and one on a retainer.

The figures show there were 35,626 GPs in England at the end of May – up from 34,726 in June 2021 – but analysis by the Health Foundation suggests there is currently a shortage of around 4,200.

Anita Charlesworth, director of research at the Health Foundation, said: "It’s sobering that over the next decade things are set to get worse.

"General practice is vital for a high quality and efficient health system, but the pressures it faces are longstanding, significant, and growing."

Professor Martin Marshall, chairman of the Royal College of GPs, said: "GPs have been working under intense pressures for many years, but the pandemic has exacerbated these pressures.

"More GPs are in training than ever before but numbers of fully trained GPs are falling."

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “We are hugely grateful to GPs and their staff for the care they provide to patients and have invested £520m to expand capacity during the pandemic, £1.5bn until 2024, and making 4,000 training places available for GPs each year to help create an extra 50 million appointments a year.”