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Jeremy Hunt joins BMA call to stem ‘bleed’ of NHS doctors

The former health secretary Jeremy Hunt will join doctors’ representatives today in a call to stem the “bleed” of GPs or risk endangering patients.

Polling shows that almost nine in ten GPs fear that patient safety is being put at risk by shortages of family doctors and too little time for appointments.

The government has admitted that it will fail to fulfil an election pledge to recruit 6,000 extra full-time GPs by 2024.

Hunt is campaigning with the British Medical Association and the GPDF, which represents local medical committees, in calling for the government to put forward a GP workforce plan to “rebuild general practice”.

He said: “The workforce crisis is the biggest issue facing the NHS. We can forget fixing the backlog unless we urgently come up with a plan to train enough doctors for the future and, crucially, retain the ones we’ve got.

“As someone who tried hard to get more GPs into local surgeries but ultimately didn’t succeed because the numbers retiring early exceeded those joining, I’m passionate about fixing this.”

The campaign wants the government to deliver on its pledge for an extra 6,000 GPs in England and action to tackle the reasons for GPs leaving the profession, such as burnout. It says that a plan is needed to reduce GP workload, which would improve patient safety.


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