Two-fold variation in GPs in partnership roles between CCGs

The proportion of GPs in partnership roles varies two-fold between CCGs across England - and salaried GPs now outnumber partners in three of London's five CCGs, GPonline analysis shows.

GP partners in decline (Photo: Robert Johns/UNP)
GP partners in decline (Photo: Robert Johns/UNP)

Headcount workforce data for July 2021 published by NHS Digital show that while in some CCG areas as many as three quarters of GPs are in partnership roles, in others two fifths or less are partners.

In more than two in five of England's 106 CCG areas, less than half of headcount GPs are partners, GPonline analysis of the data shows. In seven CCGs - including two of the five covering London - GPs in salaried roles now outnumber partners.

Nationally, partners remain in the majority - with 53.5% of all fully qualified headcount GPs in partnership roles, compared with 40% in salaried roles and around 6% in locum roles.

In full-time equivalent (FTE) terms, partners make up around 62% of the total workforce, because partners are more likely to work full-time, or more than full-time. Around a third of partners work full-time, compared with just 10% of salaried GPs.

GP partners in decline

But the latest data show the extent to which partnerships have been eroded in parts of England following a sustained decline in recent years in GP partners nationally.

GPonline reported earlier this year that FTE partners dropped by more than 3% in the year to June 2021 - leaving the total around 12% down compared with three years earlier.

Overall figures for the GP workforce at July 2021 show that there were 27,499 FTE fully qualified GPs in total in England. This figure is down slightly from the previous month - although NHS Digital says the data may not be comparable because of seasonal fluctuations in the workforce data.

No comparison is possible against the previous July, because the latest data are part of a new series of monthly updates on the GP workforce.

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