Doncaster MP Dame Rosie Winterton has called for urgent action over a ‘crisis’ which could leave Doncaster patients ‘without a doctor.’
The MP for Doncaster Central addressed Theresa May in Prime Minister’s questions, raising a number of points about health care staffing.
She said in the House of Commons: “Is the Prime Minister aware that doctors in Doncaster are facing a crisis in primary care because as GPs retire it is almost impossible to find new ones to take over their practices and because of restrictions in the Health and Social Care Act, NHS bodies cannot take action such as putting in salaried GPS to stop practices closing?
“Will the Prime Minister do something urgently about this as otherwise many of my constituents will be left without a doctor?”
The issue highlighted yesterday is said to be due to recruitment to general practice training places being at an all time low, compounded by an ageing workforce.
It is said that 30 per cent of the country’s most senior doctors are expected to retire in the next five years, while new doctors are not choosing General Practice as their speciality.
Those who are newly qualified GPs are also said to be increasingly reluctant to take on partnerships in practices, with the employed and locum models of General Practice becoming the preferred option.
Dame Winterton said that problems were also growing with long term planning and handing over care from one provider to another, with GPs having to work longer than they had intended and contracts being handed back to NHS England when it has proved impossible to find successors to their practices.
The Prime Minister said that the Government was doing all it could to tackle the problems.
In Wales, it has been announced last week that new cash incentives will be offered to doctors who train and work as GPs in a bid to tackle an issue with recruitment.