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gp dataMarch 29 2016

The full time equivalent number of GPs in England has been rising steadily each year from 35,243 in 2010 to 36,920 as at September 2014. The figures are based on a full time equivalent equating to 37.5 hours per week, said health minister Alistair Burt.

In answer to a written question from Bristol West MP Charlotte Leslie, Mr Burt said that data from the Health and Social Care Information Centre indicated that the number of GP FTEs each year was as follows:

GPs as at 30 September each specified year All practitioners, including registrars and retainers
2010 35,243
2011 35,319
2012 35,871
2013 35,294
2014 35,920

 

“Data for the general practice workforce as at 30 September 2015 will be published by the HSCIC on 30 March 2016,” added Mr Burt.

In addition, he also published information about the amount of time GPs have been spending on administration, responding to questions from Ms Leslie. She had asked about what assessment has been made “of the effect on primary care delivery of changes in the level of administrative demands on those delivering that care” and of “changes in the level of administrative demands on GPs since 2014”.

Mr Burt said that data from eight national surveys have been published by the University of Manchester since 1998, recording the experience of GPs. “Since 2005, the survey has considered the amount of time GPs spend on different activities, enabling us to track the impact of changing administrative demands on primary care delivery, although this has not considered changes specifically since 2014.”

He set out the results of the cross-sectional sample as follows:

Survey Year                       % time spent on Direct Patient Care % time spent on Indirect Care % time spent on Administration % time spent on Meetings Other                          
2005 63.3 18.2 11.3 n/a 7.1
2008 63 17.5 12 n/a 7.5
2010 63.1 18.6 10.7 n/a 7.6
2012 62.3 19.3 10.9 n/a 7.5
2013 62.1 19.7 8.4 3.9 6.3

 

Regarding the time spent on external meetings, Mr Burt’s statement noted that the 2015 figure was the first time this category had been included and would account for the fall in the administration and other categories.

“We are keen to reduce administrative demands on those delivering care where practicable, and the Making Time in General Practice study by NHS Alliance and the Primary Care Foundation was commissioned by NHS England in order to identify ways to tackle bureaucracy. It was published in October 2015 and NHS England are now working with the British Medical Association, the Royal College of General Practitioners and others to develop plans to support general practice, including through reducing burdens,” added Mr Burt.

“The Department has not made an assessment of the effect of changes in the level of administrative demands on the delivery of the other primary care services of optometry, dentistry and community pharmacy.”

Links:

Written question - GP FTEs

Written question - assessment of administrative demands in primary care

Written question - assessment of administrative demands on GPs

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