Education GP challenges Simon Stevens on GP recruitment

A pledge by NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens that there would be 5,000 new GPs has been challenged by a GP director of health education in the north-east of England.

Dr Maureen Baker and Simon Stevens (Photo: Pete Hill)
Dr Maureen Baker and Simon Stevens (Photo: Pete Hill)

Mr Stevens told the RCGP annual conference in Liverpool on Friday that the estimate was provided by Health Education England (HEE) but agreed to hear the GP’s concerns privately.

Yesterday at the RCGP conference health secretary Jeremy Hunt said that HEE would review how many GPs were needed across England area by area. The Conservatives are promising 5,000 new GPs, Labour 8,000.

The GP trainer told Mr Stevens: ‘I’ve spent eight years improving capacity and desperately trying to attract people into the profession.’

Mr Stevens warned that talk of a general practice crisis could become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

In a question-and-answer session he was asked repeatedly about problems with premises and the reluctance of young GPs to take on loans which could eventually leave them in negative equity.

Mr Stevens said: ‘I can’t see the NHS buying up every practice premises going spare but you have put your finger on an important concern. The reality on premises investment is that there hasn’t been money for the last year.’

A Bedfordshire GP told the chief executive about the frustration felt by the actions of NHS England’s area teams.

Mr Stevens said: ‘We are cutting running costs by 15%. There will be half the number of area directors than there were before. We are taking out between £60m and £80m.’

Asked about his enthusiasm for co-payments, Mr Stevens said: ‘I don’t have the sense that’s what the people of this country want.’

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Practices handed one-month opt-out window as revamped network DES unveiled

Practices handed one-month opt-out window as revamped network DES unveiled

NHS England has unveiled a revamped DES package for 2020/21 confirming new targets,...

GPs delivered huge rise in face-to-face consultations in week before NHS England letter

GPs delivered huge rise in face-to-face consultations in week before NHS England letter

GPs delivered a huge increase in face-to-face appointments in the week before NHS...

RCGP facing legal action over stance on assisted dying

RCGP facing legal action over stance on assisted dying

The RCGP is facing legal action over its decision to remain opposed to assisted dying...

Medeconomics Live aims to help practices thrive under the new GP contract

Medeconomics Live aims to help practices thrive under the new GP contract

The one-day, virtual Medeconomics Live conference aims to provide practices with...

GPs face wave of abuse and complaints after NHS England face-to-face appointments claims

GPs face wave of abuse and complaints after NHS England face-to-face appointments claims

GP practices have faced a wave of abuse and complaints after a letter from NHS England...

Government denies plan to make GPs 'gatekeepers' of COVID-19 testing

Government denies plan to make GPs 'gatekeepers' of COVID-19 testing

The government has denied plans to make GPs 'gatekeepers' of the struggling COVID-19...