NEARLY a third of doctors’ surgeries have been unable to fill GP vacancies in the past year.
The West Midlands and the East of England are the joint worst places in the country to fill a GP position when one becomes available.
Some 35 per cent of surgeries have struggled to replace a GP when they have left the practice.
The worrying figures by the British Medical Association (BMA) were discovered through a survey of some 3,500 GP partners.
West Midlands BMA representative Dr Mary McCarthy said: “The findings highlight the serious recruitment challenges facing general practice in West Midlands. Worryingly, over a third of GP partners in the region said that they have been unable to fill vacancies in the past year and only thirteen per cent said they had no issues filling gaps in their workforce. This should serve as an urgent wake up call for this government.”
Across the UK surgeries have had to hire locums to cover long-term employment or to enable them to continue providing a full range of services.
The association says NHS England needs to work with practices to help properly staff their surgeries.