• NHS England sets GP recruitment targets for STPs
  • Midlands and East STPs must find 1,309 qualified GPs and 193 trainees by 2020
  • Letter to STP leaders says targets are to close gap in GP numbers between different areas

Every sustainability and transformation partnership area has been set a target for the number of GPs it needs to recruit by 2020 by NHS England, HSJ has learned.

In a letter sent to all STP leads in the Midlands and East, NHS England set a target for the 17 STPs in the region to increase their overall GP workforce by 15 per cent by 2020.

HSJ understands targets have been set for all STP regions. However, when asked by HSJ, NHS England said it could not share the data for the rest of the country.

The letter, sent in August, said by 2020 the Midlands and East STPs will need to recruit 1,309 qualified GPs and 193 GP trainees.

The Lincolnshire STP must increase its GP numbers by the biggest proportion – needing a 21 per cent increase in full time equivalent doctors.

The news comes during a major national push to increase the number of GPs across the country, which includes recruiting 2,000 GPs from overseas.

The document, published by Hereford and South Worcestershire clinical commissioning groups this month, said: “You are aware that the [Five Year] Forward View outlined the importance of developing and transforming primary care. Part of that plan is the importance of the expansion of the GP and non-medical workforce, which was outlined in the 2020 workforce strategy.

“To achieve this the Midlands and East region will need to achieve a 15 per cent increase in GP full time equivalent numbers by 2020, compared to a 2015 baseline…

“This target was generated by balancing the requirement for under doctored areas to gain more doctors and close the gap relative to other STPs, as well as all STPs sharing in the expansion requirement.”

GP recruitment targets for NHS England for Midlands and East STPs

STP areaIncrease in FTE doctorsExpected FTE December 2020Improvement (percentage increase in FTE required by 2020)
Lincolnshire 76 444 21%
Black Country and West Birmingham 129 862 18%
Milton Keynes, Bedfordshire and Luton 78 537 17%
Suffolk and North East Essex 86 591 17%
Birmingham and Solihull 103 760 16%
Norfolk 88 645 16%
Hertfordshire and West Essex 110 862 15%
Mid and South Essex 96 682 15%
Northamptonshire 54 421 15%
Coventry and Warwickshire 70 570 14%
Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland 76 639 14%
Nottinghamshire 77 633 14%
Staffordshire 82 676 14%
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough 59 547 12%
Derbyshire 61 636 11%
Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin 27 306 10%
Herefordshire and Worcestershire 37 498 8%
Midlands and East total  1,309 10,310 15%

 NHS England was approached for comment.