The NHS has lost nearly 600 GPs in the past year as the recruitment crisis continues, figures show.
Almost as many GPs left health care between June 2018 and June 2019 as in the full three years until March.
Doctors' Association the British Medical Association said declining GP numbers mean that tense GPs risk their own health to catch up on huge workloads.
Detailed figures from NHS Digital show which practices most doctors have lost or received, with one medical center in London losing 31 in three months.
The losses again point to the spectacular failure of the government's promise to hire 5,000 additional GPs by 2020.
In the three years since the government promised to hire 5,000 more general practitioners, the number of fully qualified doctors has fallen by around 1,000 (photo) and the total number of doctors has fallen by 148
The NHS figures released today show that 28,257 full-time equivalent, fully-qualified doctors were employed in general practice in England in June.
This was a decrease of 576 from 28,697 in March this year and from 28,833 in June last year.
In general, the numbers are increasing because locum doctors and trainees who are not yet fully qualified bring the total number of full-time GPs to 34,114.
This was 0.8 percent more than a year earlier, but suggests that employees shorten their hours or are replaced by doctors who cannot yet work without supervision.
Dr. Krishna Kasaraneni from the BMA told the news site of the industry GP Online: & # 39; As patient demand increases and workforce decreases, GPs take on more work – often more than their contracted hours.
"This puts enormous pressure on GPs who put their own health and well-being at risk to ensure that their patients receive the best possible care."
In addition to overburdened patient lists, physician numbers have been hit by a row of pension rules, meaning NHS employees are facing heavy and & # 39; unfair & # 39; taxes once they have saved a certain amount.
This has led some to cut their hours to keep their pension contributions low and possibly even to early retirement, trade unions have said.
The NHS has been in the grip of a recruitment crisis for years and is now believed to be short of around 100,000 staff, including doctors and nurses.
Jeremy Hunt, the former Health Minister, promised in 2015 that the government would lead a recruitment campaign to hire 5,000 more GPs by 2020.
His promise failed and there are now around 1,000 fewer fully qualified full-time equivalent staff and 150 fewer in total.
Doctors say that their workload becomes more difficult because more and more people make appointments with more than one medical condition (stock image)
HOW DOES NHS TRY MORE DOCTORS?
- Healthcare revealed last year that it would offer physicians working in Australia a £ 18,500 bonus if they moved to the UK to work for the NHS. Reportedly, a recruitment campaign attempted to persuade doctors to move to the land of Harry Potter, Manchester United, and William Shakespeare.
- NHS has set up a scheme to recruit 2,000 GPs from abroad by encouraging doctors in other countries to apply in the NHS. But only 34 were recruited between 2015 and February this year.
- Trainee general practitioners offered a & # 39; golden hello & # 39; bonus of £ 20,000 if they take a job in hard-to-fill jobs. Young doctors must commit to work for at least three years in areas with conspicuous deficits, including Hull, Plymouth, Lancaster and rural parts of County Durham and North Yorkshire.
- Matt Hancock suggested that the tax-free pension ceiling could be lifted to try to convince more existing GPs to work in their 60s. Currently, doctors have to pay taxes on retirement savings of more than £ 1 million, but this amount can be increased.
But his successor, Matt Hancock, said earlier this year that he was still committed to the goal and would soon set a new timeline to reach it.
More detailed data released today by the NHS demonstrated the change in GP numbers at individual practice level for thousands of operations across England between March and June of this year.
Three practices seem to have lost more than 25 staff members each in the last three months, although figures can be blown up by mergers of operations.
A total of 1,141 personnel losses have been registered since March, with the vast majority losing one or two of their senior doctors.
In the meantime, 1,093 doctors have received doctors, with the largest increase of 17 employees in one practice.
Professor Martin Marshall, vice president of the Royal College of GPs, said: & # 39; The number of fully qualified general practitioners leaving the profession concerns and reflects the harsh reality of what it is like for general practitioners working in NHS general practice and face intense resources and workforce on a daily basis.
& # 39; We urgently need to see more money for the introduction of & # 39; s retention program across the country, if we have the opportunity to reverse this situation.
& # 39; The demand for general practitioner services is increasing, both in terms of volume and complexity.
& # 39; Combined with the declining workforce, it creates a perfect storm that makes general practitioners stressed out, burned out and quit the job earlier than planned – and our patients wait much longer for an appointment than they should. & # 39;
HOW HAS THE GP CRISIS CHANGED THIS YEAR?
General practitioners in the United Kingdom have been struggling for years with increasing work pressure and concerns about the reduction in workforce.
A poll in February showed that 42 percent of general practitioners were planning to leave or retire within five years, compared to less than a third (32 percent) in 2014.
Research from the University of Warwick showed that almost a fifth (18 percent) said they would leave within two years.
Terminally ill patients lack ideal care, according to another study by the Royal College of General Practitioners in February, where doctors say they are too busy to care for dying people.
Although 92 percent of doctors said that end-of-life care was a & # 39; important & # 39; part of being a doctor, four out of five say they don't have enough time to do it right.
And long waiting times are still a problem for patients all over England.
Between January and March of this year, 12.3 million appointments were completed 15 days or more after patients booked to see their doctor.
This was a 14 percent increase from the 10.8 million in the same period last year and represents a total of one in six patients.
Experts say the numbers show how the workload of GPs grows as the number of appointments continues to grow, but the number of doctors decreases.
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