‘Underfunding’ causes recruitment ‘crisis’ in Barking and Dagenham

There is a "crisis" in GP recruitment, according to the BMA Picture: PA/Anthony Devili

There is a "crisis" in GP recruitment, according to the BMA Picture: PA/Anthony Devilin - Credit: PA WIRE

A “crisis” in GP recruitment and a reliance on temporary doctors is bringing down care quality, the British Medical Association said.

The comments come as data from the Health and Social Care Information Centre show Barking and Dagenham has one of the highest rates of “locum” – or temporary – doctors in the NHS.

The borough, which is classed as one of the most deprived NHS areas, has a locum rate of nine per cent – just behind Sandwell and West Birmingham on 12pc and Bradford on 18pc.

Dr Richard Vautrey, BMA committee deputy chairman, said poorer areas were “really struggling” to recruit GPs.

“It’s vital that governments across the UK reverse the decade of underfunding that has led to this crisis,” he added.

Responding to the concerns, NHS England said it plans to spend £206million to boost GP recruitment in deprived areas.