HC Deb 10 April 2002 vol 383 c431W
Mr. Burns

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on progress made in GP recruitment in the last 12 months. [46736]

Mr. Hutton

In the past year we have continued to work closely with the profession on measures to boost general practitioner (GP) numbers and make general practice a better place to work. Good progress has been made. During this period we have boosted recruitment by increasing training places; by recruiting from overseas; and by offering cash incentives, additional training and support to new GPs. We have similarly addressed retention through the revised retainer scheme; by developing flexible career options (especially through personal medical services); through further initiatives to reduce bureaucracy; and by improving GPs' working lives with the introduction of a range of family friendly initiatives. The additional resources which we have made available to the NHS are also enabling primary care trusts and others to give better support to GPs by providing better information technology, better buildings and promoting different ways of working,