Some sustainability and transformation partnership (STP) areas have been identified as at risk of facing future GP shortages due to the ‘high’ numbers of GPs approaching retirement age.
The information is revealed in data from NHS Improvement, which has been seen by the Health Service Journal (HSJ).
The data reveals that 11 STPs have been rated ‘red’ for the proportion of GPs in their area that are over 55 years old. In seven of these areas, more than 20% of GPs are over 55.
The seven areas where more than 20% of GPs are over 55 are: Kent and Medway (24.2%), Somerset (24%), Lincolnshire (22.5%), Mid and South Essex (22.4%), Milton Keynes, Bedfordshire and Luton (21.9%), Gloucestershire (21.2%), and Hertfordshire and West Essex (20.4%). The other four areas also flagged red for the proportion of GPs over 55 are: Bath, Swindon and Wiltshire (19.3%), South West London (19.1%), Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (19.1%), and North East London (19%).
The data were collected by NHS Digital for September 2015. An updated dataset was published in March 2016, revealing that there were 3,649 GPs in England over 55 in December 2016 — an increase from 3,323 from September 2015, but these data did not include a regional breakdown.