Commenting on the General Medical Council’s The state of medical education and practice in the UK: workforce report 2022, Suzie Bailey, Director of Leadership and Organisational Development at The King’s Fund, said:
‘Today’s report once again highlights the difficulties in particular in recruiting and retaining GPs. Our own research showed that GPs are intending to reduce the number of clinical sessions they work, often due to the volume and intensity of the workload.
‘At a time when the NHS is in the depths of a staffing crisis, it is important that decision-makers consider all options on the table for shoring up the workforce so that the health service can deliver the timely, high quality care that patients expect and staff want to deliver. It will be important to explore how skilled doctors can be supported and developed to take up a wider range of work, including in primary care. This will require much more than just a relaxation of the rules, including a culture shift to embed change and adequate support for these staff to work to their full potential.
‘The finding that there is greater diversity in the medical workforce with an increasing number of doctors working in the NHS from minority ethnic groups is to be celebrated. However, the NHS Staff Survey published earlier this year showed that staff from ethnic minority backgrounds are more likely to experience bullying, harassment or abuse from patients, their relatives or members of the public, than their white colleagues, highlighting that there is still much progress to be made with regards to diversity in the NHS.
‘These issues, combined with the fact that the number of doctors leaving the NHS workforce each year has returned to pre-pandemic levels, all underline the urgent need for a fully funded, long term workforce plan for health and social care.’
Notes to editors
1. The King’s Fund surveyed GP trainees on their plans for their own careers and on the future of general practice more generally.
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The King's Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and care in England. We help to shape policy and practice through research and analysis; develop individuals, teams and organisations; promote understanding of the health and social care system; and bring people together to learn, share knowledge and debate. Our vision is that the best possible health and care is available to all.