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Recruitment problems could see closure of 500+ GP practices

Up to 543 GP practices throughout England could be forced to close in the next year due to GP recruitment and retention problems, warns the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP).
The RCGP released a statement this morning ahead of its national conference in Liverpool today (2 October) where chairwoman Dr Maureen Baker is expected to talk on the subject.
The statement said a “deepening crisis” in GP recruitment and retention was leaving many practices unable to replace family doctors who are retiring from the profession.
Figures released by the RCGP showed over 90% of GPs working in the up to 543 practices were aged over 60, but the average retirement age for GPs was 59.
The RCGP has estimated that more than 1,000 GPs will leave the profession annually by 2022.
It also said the number of unfilled GP posts has nearly quadrupled in the last three years from 2.1% in 2010 to 7.9% last year.
It has estimated England needs nearly 40,100 full-time equivalent GPs to meet increasing patient demand, but there are only 32,075 such doctors.
In the statement, which she is expected to reiterate at the conference, Baker said: “Most worryingly, in the face of relentless workload pressures and constant attacks from the media, we are not attracting enough new doctors and nurses into general practice, or doing enough to retain the highly skilled workforce we have.”
The number of practices facing closure could rise to 600 across the UK.
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