The Government has delivered on a key manifesto commitment to recruit 26,000 additional primary care professionals a year ahead of the March 2024 target – including 5,418 more in the Midlands.
Data published on 18 May by NHS England shows there are 26,103 additional primary care staff – such as dieticians, paramedics and physiotherapists – working in GP practices with doctors and nurses to deliver care to patients.
The Government continues to work to create more appointments, and recent data shows there were almost two million more GP appointments delivered in March when compared to a year ago – that is 83,500 more appointments each working day.
This milestone builds on the recently published Primary Care Recovery Plan, which set out action to make it easier for patients to contact their GP and end the 8am rush. It included £240 million funding given to practices across the UK this year to embrace latest technology.
Worcester MP Robin Walker said:
"Increasing healthcare provision for Worcester has been a priority for me since I was elected in 2010, and getting the right people is as important as getting the right equipment. In 2019 we pledged to recruit an additional 26,000 primary care professionals across the country and I am glad that in the Midlands we have met that target a year early."
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:
“Expanding our brilliant primary care teams was a key promise of this government, and we have delivered. It is fantastic news we have achieved our target to recruit an extra 26,000 primary care professionals almost one year earlier than planned.
“These dedicated professionals play a vital role at the front door of our NHS - supporting patients, delivering excellent care and helping to cut waiting lists.”
Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay said:
“This government is focused on cutting waiting lists – which is one of our five priorities - and getting patients the care they need, when they need it.
“We have delivered on our promise to recruit 26,000 extra primary care professionals which means more clinicians delivering better, more specialised and accessible care to patients.
“Building on the Primary Care Recovery Plan, we are determined to end the 8am scramble, improving technology and reducing bureaucracy.”
Amanda Pritchard, NHS England Chief Executive, said:
“It is fantastic to see more than 29,000 staff join our General Practice workforce since 2019, a year ahead of the Government target, following NHS recruitment campaigns with these new staff including mental health practitioners, social prescribers, and pharmacists offering people expert care and advice at their local practice.
“Thanks to these new GP teams record numbers of appointments are being delivered, with the latest figures showing that more than 31 million appointments took place in March 2023 – up almost a third compared to pre-pandemic.”