Ageing workforce could lead to closure of GP practices

 
Sarah Spickernell
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Many GPs will retire soon (Source: Getty)
The large number of GPs reaching retiring age in England has put hundreds of practices at risk of closure, the Royal College of GPs (RCGP) has claimed.
According to the professional body, at 543 of the country's 8,000 GP practices, 90 per cent of doctors are over 60.
That means seven per cent of all practices could be forced to shut within the next year.
Standard retirement age is 59, which means these doctors will soon leave the work force and many of the practices will not be able to stay open due to a shortage of GPs.
The issue is being discussed today at the RCGP's annual conference, and follows on from the Conservatives' pledge earlier this week to create seven-day GP services. At the conservative party conference, Prime Minister David Cameron said extra funding would be made available to help realise the ambition.
The RCGP believes just providing current levels of services is becoming a struggle, let alone increasing services to including all seven days of the week.
They came to this conclusion by studying data from the Health and Social Care Information Centre and Health Education England
RCGP chair Dr Maureen Baker told the BBC: "We've been losing GPs, we are losing GPs and we're not recruiting enough doctors into the profession."

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