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How the demographics of general practice are changing

How the demographics of general practices are changing

The Health and Social Care Information Centre has published GP workforce statistics that show some dramatic changes in general practice over the past year. The key findings are:

  • Excluding locums, there are 40,697 headcount GPs working in general practices, a decrease of 408 (1.0%) since 2014.This represents 34,055 FTE GPs, an estimated decrease of 657 (1.9%)
  • There were 7,674 GP practices in England, a decrease of 201 (2.6%) on last year
  • The number of patients per practice has grown steadily in the last decade rising from 6,250 to 7,450 between 2005 and 2015, reflecting the move towards larger practices
  • Total registered patients in England increased from 56.5 million in 2014 to 57.2 million (1.2%)
  • Based on the data from 88.1% of practices, there are 9.9% of practices that are single-handed
  • There are 4,802 practices (62.6%) holding General Medical Service (GMS) contracts; there are also a small number of GMS contracts (6) held by limited companies. There are 2,584 (33.7%) Personal Medical Service (PMS) contracts in 2015, down from 3,143 in 2014, with some PMS contracts (13) also being held by limited companies
  • 54.4% of GPs (excluding locums) are female. Since 2005 the female practitioner headcount has increased from 42.5% of the total GP (excluding locums) population to 54.4% in 2015
  • England has 20.8% practitioners aged 55 and over, a slight decrease from 21.3% in 2005. The proportion under 35 rose from 12.2% to 13.4% over the same period


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