Some medical practices are being forced to close after failing to recruit GPs as the number of vacancies soar to 12.2%, research suggests.
The survey was carried out amongst 860 GPs and found that the average time taken to recruit a GP partner has risen from 6.6 months to 7.4 in the last year.
The research, carried out by the GP news magazine Pulse, found that 18% of GPs said they had to give up recruiting in the past 12 months after being unsuccessful.
While some practices are having to resort to hiring non-GPs to fill the gaps, others have closed down after failing to recruit a GP partner.
Despite a Government target to recruit 5,000 GP's by 2020 a report from the Commons Public Accounts Committee in April found there had been "no progress" in increasing the number.
MPs said more trainees needed to be recruited, while existing GPs should be encouraged to stay on.
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