FEWER fully trained GPs were working in Herefordshire and Worcestershire in November than 12 months earlier, new figures show.

NHS Digital figures show 420 full-time-equivalent fully trained GPs were working at surgeries in the former NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire CCG area in November – down from 424 the year before.

Nationally, there were 27,483 fully-trained GPs in England in November – a marginal increase from the 27,392 of November 2022.

But in September 2015, the earliest available figures, there were 29,364, meaning almost 1,900 fully trained GPs have been lost over the last eight years.

Dr Julius Parker, deputy chair of the BMA's GP Committee for England, said: "There are no two ways about it, we are in the midst of a GP workforce crisis."

The figures also showed that in Herefordshire and Worcestershire, there were 556 full-time-equivalent doctors – up from 544 the year before.

Robin Walker MP said there may have been that number of GPs in November but the "overall picture is we have more". 

The MP said he wanted surgeries to keep senior doctors "for the long term" and said he had been one of those who "campaigned hard" for a medical school in Worcester to train the next generation - the University of Worcester's Three Counties Medical School opening last year.

"When I visited they were taking on students," he added.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: "There are more than 2,600 additional doctors and 34,000 extra staff in general practice, compared to 2019. Last year also saw the highest-ever number of doctors accepting a place on GP training.

"We have reached our target of 50 million additional general practice appointments several months ahead of schedule – that is equivalent to 43 additional appointments per practice per working day.

"Through our Primary Care Recovery Plan and Long Term Workforce Plan, we will continue to invest in our primary care workforce."