Female GPs outnumber men for first time in NHS history

Female GPs in England outnumber their male counterparts for the first time, official NHS data show.

Female GPs: up 50% since 2003
Female GPs: up 50% since 2003

NHS workforce census data released by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) show an increase of more than 50% in numbers of female GPs while male GP numbers remained broadly static over the last decade.

The data show that overall GP numbers have declined slightly despite a rise in the overall NHS workforce.

The size of the overall NHS workforce rose to 1.36m people in September 2013, up nearly 6,000 from the previous year, and up by more than 150,000 since 2003.

GP numbers fell fractionally to 40,240 - down by 29 GPs from 2012 - a figure that is more than 6,500 higher than the total GP workforce in 2003.

The total number of female GPs in September 2013 was 20,440 - a 2.9% rise compared with 2012 - but the number of male GPs fell by 600 to 19,800, a 2.9% decline.

Since 2003, the total number of female GPs has risen by a staggering 51% - almost 7,000 GPs - while the number of male GPs has dropped by 1%, or 218 GPs.

Although overall headcount numbers of GPs have declined slightly, the HSCIC data show that numbers of full-time equivalent FTE) GPs have risen. There were 36,294 FTE GPs in September 2013, up 1.2% from a year earlier, and up 20% from 2003.

The number of salaried GPs has risen by a staggering 435% to a total of 9,153 in the past decade, the data show.

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