Shortage of new posts to hit young GPs for third year

Falling practice vacancies mean young GPs may struggle to find posts as practices tighten their belts to cope with the pay freeze, GP leaders say.

Figures published by the NHS Information Centre last week showed that GP vacancy rates had fallen for the third year running.

GP vacancy rates for 2008 are 0.3 per cent in England and 0.2 per cent in Wales, down from 0.8 and 0.9 per cent in 2007.

Posts for other staff are also being hit. Practice nurse vacancies per 100,000 patients were 0.3 in England and 0 in Wales this year. They were 0.5 and 0.4 in 2007.

Among practice staff, vacancies per 100,000 patients were 0.6 in England and 0.4 in Wales this year compared with 1 and 0.8 the year before.

GPC Wales chairman Dr David Bailey said: 'We've seen three years of contractions of income coming into practices. Practices everywhere are tightening their belts.

'It's not good news for young GPs. Practices are not wanting to invest because they feel their businesses are under threat.'

neil.durham@haymarket.com

Vacancies

  • In Wales it fell from 0.9 per cent in 2007 to 0.2 per cent in 2008.
  • Practices nurses and staff vacancies fell: in Wales there are no vacancies for nurses in 2008.
  • Practice staff vacancies have halved in England and Wales.

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