NHS statistics continue to show a shrinking GP workforce, but General Practice continues to deliver the productivity –

The latest NHS stats continue to confirm that general `practice remains the most productive sector in the NHS post Covid 19 pandemic yet the decrease in GP numbers and Practices relentlessly continues –

GP workforce – February 2024 

  • There are 32 fewer fully qualified, full-time equivalent GPs in February 2024 than January 2024, the first month showing a fall in FTE numbers after seven months of sustained increases.
  • We have the equivalent of 1,862 fewer fully qualified full-time GPs than we did in September 2015.
  • The number of GP practices in England has decreased by 105 over the past year – reflecting a long-term trend of closures as well as mergers. This fall in both staff numbers and GP practice coincides with a rise in patients: as of February 2024, there was another record-high of 63.20 million patients registered with practices in England – an average of 10,018 patients registered per practice.
  • As a result, each full-time equivalent GP is now responsible for an average of 2,298 patients. This is an increase of 360 patients per GP, or nearly 19%, since 2015, demonstrating the ever-mounting workload in general practice.

GP appointments – February 2024

  • Around 30.5 million standard (non-COVID-19 vaccination) appointments were booked in February 2024, with an average of 1.45m appointments being delivered per working day. This is lower than the average of 1.48m appointments per working day the previous month.
  • An average of 1.40m appointments per day were booked in the past year (March 2023–February 2024).
  • The number of COVID-19 vaccination appointments decreased significantly from about 11,700 in January 2024 to approximately 140 in February 2024.
  • In terms of access, the proportion of appointments booked to take place the same day has decreased slightly from the previous month: 43.5% of appointments in February 2024 were booked to take place on the same day, compared to almost 45% in January 2024.

Appointments booked to take place face to face stayed the same – about 67% of appointments in both January 2024 and February 2024. 45.2% of appointments were delivered by a GP in February 2024: a slight decrease since the previous month (45.5%).

LeDeR- Learning Disability and Autistic People –

Everyone with a learning disability or a diagnosis of autism over the age of 18 is eligible for a LeDeR review. LeDeR is a service improvement programme which aims to improve care, reduce health inequalities, and prevent premature mortality of people with a learning disability and autistic people by reviewing information about the health and social care support people received.

Whilst anyone can notify a death to LeDeR  the LMC has been asked to bring the importance of  notifying deaths  to the attention of GPs  as not everyone with a Learning Disability or Autism will be evident  to other services. Notification of deaths should be completed on Report the death of someone with a learning disability (leder.nhs.uk)