GPs and practice nurse numbers rise as community staff in decline

Numbers of GPs and practice nurses in England have risen sharply over the past decade but health visitors and district nurses have declined, official data show.

The number of GPs has increased by almost a fifth, from 28,046 in 1997 to 33,364 in 2007, and the number of full-time equivalent GPs by 17 per cent to 30,936 from 26,359.

The number of full-time equivalent practice nurses has risen 44 per cent to 14,554 in 2007, despite a slight dip of 62 since 2006.

There were 12,410 health visitors in 1997, but this fell to 11,569 in 2007. The drop in district nurse numbers was sharper still, from 14,150 to 10,779.

The data were published by The Information Centre.

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