'Recruitment figures show strong take-up of GP posts.'


This headline (news, page 6, 25 October) was misleading. GP vacancies doubled last year (1,214 to 2,464), took longer to fill (3.9 to 4.8 months) and the number of applicants per post fell (from 8.5 to 6.9). Posts taking more than six months to fill rose (from 11 to 23 per cent). The average general medical services post takes 4.7 months to fill, personal medical services posts (the way ahead? ) take 6.8 months.

The headlines in the GP press were: 'GP jobs crisis is deepening' - Pulse; 'Number of vacant GP posts doubles' - Doctor; 'Official figures confirm GP recruiting shortfall' - GP.

It is unhelpful to put a positive spin on worrying figures. An empty consulting room is an empty consulting room.

Many of my GP colleagues believe that politicians and their advisers must be deluded, deaf or dishonest.

Your headline reinforces that impression.

Stephen J Nickless London NW6