Fewer family doctors in South Tyneside

Fewer fully trained GPs are practising in South Tyneside than last year, new figures show, as pressures on NHS services mount.

Fewer GPs in South Tyneside.
Fewer GPs in South Tyneside.

NHS Digital figures show there were 90 full-time equivalent GPs in the area in November but 23 of them were in training, meaning just 67 were fully qualified – down from 69 a year earlier.

The local figures reflect a national trend which shows there were 27,400 fully trained GPs in November – down from 27,900 in November 2021 and a decrease of 1.7%, the largest fall in more than three years.

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The figures come despite a manifesto pledge by the Government to recruit 6,000 more GPs by 2025.

Dr Kieran Sharrock, GP committee acting chair at the British Medical Associaton, said: "Despite promises to recruit more GPs, the Government has now overseen the loss of more than 1,900 since 2015.

Dr Sharrock said many GPs are having to take difficult decisions to reduce their hours or leave the profession altogether to protect their own wellbeing as workload demands and financial stresses mount.

He added: "Rather than piling on more pressure, the Government needs to show it is taking this dire workforce situation seriously and encourage more family doctors to stay in the profession.”

The Department for Health and Social Care said at least £1.5bn will be invested to create an additional 50 million appointments by 2024.

A spokesperson said: "There were nearly 2,300 more doctors working in general practice in September compared to September 2019 and a record-breaking number started training as GPs last year.”