§ Mr. Paul Marsden
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many general practitioners there were in Shropshire(a) in May 1997 and (b) on the most recent date for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Yvette Cooper
We are committed to increasing the number of staff working within the National Health Service and funds have been made available to employ 2,000 more general practitioners (GPs) by 2004. The table illustrates the number of general medical practitioners (GMP) in Shropshire health authority area.
Number of GMPs (excluding GP retainers)1 in Shropshire health authority on 1 October 1997 and 30 September 2000 1997 2000 All practitioners 260 262 Of which: Unrestricted principles and equivalents (UPEs)2 239 243 1 GMP (excluding GP retainers) includes UPEs, restricted principals, assistants, GP registrars, salaried doctors (paragraph 52 "Statement of Fees and Allowances") and personal medical services others.
2 UPEs includes GMS Unrestricted Principles, PMS Contracted GPs and PMS Salaried GPs.
GP Retainers were collected for the first time in the 1999 census, for comparability they have been excluded from the 2000 figure—there were 14 GP retainers in Shropshire health authority at 30 September 2000.
Department of Health general and personal medical services statistics