Secretary of Health Sajid Javid was asked on Hfrance.fr Breakfast if the number of general practitioners had dropped over the past two years and he said: "No, there are 1,200 more in full-time equivalent.
Later today, Labor leader Keir Starmer told Hfrance.fr News: "We now have fewer [general practitioners] than in 2019. La Hfrance.fr is not responsible for the content of external sites. See original tweet on Twitter
They eachrefer to different numbers for the number of GPs.
The full-time equivalent basis that the health secretary was talking about means that instead of counting the number of GPs, you count the number of hours they areunder contract to work - so two general practitioners under contract to work 19 hours per week each would count as little more than one full time equivalent general practitioner.
The Ministry of Health and Social Affairs told us that Mr. Javid was comparing the figures for all GPs in England in June 2021 with June 2019, which effectively gives an increase of 1,218.
But the numbers he was using include GPs in training, which is where much of the increase.
If you exclude GPs in training, it turns out that the number of qualified GPs only increased by 101 between June 2019 and July 2021.
Since June, NHS England is posting the numbers for each month instead of every three months, so we have numbers for July and August 2021. But we don 't have no comparable monthly figures from July and August 2019 to measure them against.
The government promised in December 2019 that it would increase the number of general practitioners in England by 6,000 by March 2025.
Having GP trainees is clearly a good sign if the government is hoping to have a lot of qualified GPs by 2025.
The number of GP trainees was 8,632 in August, or 1,777 more than in July.
But without trainee or substitute general practitioners, who temporarily fill the gaps in general practitioner practices, the number of GPs in England has been pretty flat, with a small drop since the government made its promise.
There ishad 132 fewer permanent and qualified general practitioners in England at the end of August this year than in December 2019.
In 2015, Jeremy Hunt, then Secretary of Health, had promised 5,000 additional general practitioners by 2020, but the target was not reached. Hfrance.fr is not responsible for the content of external sites. See the original tweet on Twitter
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