HUDDERSFIELD is short of eight GPs, despite Government claims that the NHS is hitting recruitment targets.
New GPs have been recruited but Huddersfield is still eight short.
Mrs Helena Corder, Director of Patient Experience at South Huddersfield Primary Care Trust said: "There are two issues in relation to GP recruitment and retention across South Huddersfield and Huddersfield Central Primary Care Trusts.
"One is how we can replace current GPs who leave or retire.
"There are currently eight GP vacancies across Huddersfield and we are holding a recruitment workshop on October 7 this year.
"This is to develop our skills further in retaining and recruiting by working with GPs and the universities who train them.
"The second is how primary care trusts can increase the number of GPs.
"In Huddersfield the Primary Care Trusts have used the opportunity to develop Personal Medical Services (PMS), which is a different way of developing services from the traditional one.
"Through this the two trusts have gained additional funding to employ more GPs since April 1, 2002.
"These are not all full-time and tend to be salaried GPs rather than the traditional GP partners, because this is the way more GPs want to work."
Figures from the Department of Health show the NHS is on target to reach its goal of recruiting 2,000 more GPs by March 2004.
Health minister John Hutton said GP numbers had grown nationally by 5.3% since 1999.
New initiatives have been launched to recruit more GPs and encourage them to stay in service.
A mini-census of GP numbers shows that between March and June 2003, 260 GPs were recruited, bringing the total number to 1,500 since 1999.
Mr Hutton added: "This is excellent news for patients. GPs are the front line of the NHS.
"If the growth in GP numbers continues at this rate, the NHS Plan target can be achieved, giving patients an improved service."
A number of schemes has been drawn up to attract GPs and retain them.
These include a flexible careers scheme launched last November, which aims to offer more opportunities to work flexibly and help GPs get a balance between work and private life.
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