Hundreds of GP practices risk closing because so many doctors are near retirement

Hundreds of GP practices are at risk of closing because so many family doctors are near retirement.

More than a fifth of GPs in permanent positions in NHS Eng­land are 55 or over – and in some areas it is double that.

Experts say the service will be 7,000 short within five years.

And critics claim the crisis makes a mockery of the promise by Health Secretary Matt Hancock to create 50 million more appointments a year in the same period.

He aims to recruit 6,000 GPs by 2024/25 – which would still be 1,000 short.

Labour ’s Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: “This is yet more damning evidence of the crisis our NHS is in after a decade of Tory cuts.

“Practices face closure because Matt Hancock and Boris Johnson have sat back and watched the numbers fall.”

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Labour has pledged to pump £40billion into the NHS.

Prof Martin Marshall of the Royal College of GPs warned: “Many more experienced GPs burn out long before retirement.”

The Sunday Mirror’s End the GPs Crisis campaign is urging funding for at least 5,000 trainee family doctors a year.

We are also calling for better working conditions to keep GPs from leaving, and nearly 30 million more appointments to shrink waiting times.

The Department of Health said it could not comment during the pre-election period.


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