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a stethoscope image cbAugust 17 2017

General practice training should be at least four years and not as proposed in the finalised ‘Shape of Training’ report, the RCGP has said.

 The UK Shape of Training Steering Group report published last week, provides “policy advice and structure to guide implementation of the recommendations from Professor David Greenaway’s independent Shape of Training review.”

Among its recommendations had been that “full registration should move to the point of graduation from medical school, provided there are measures in place to demonstrate graduates are fit to practise at the end of medical school.”

However, the RCGP has reiterated its position that GP training should be a minimum of four years in length – and that the extra training time should be spent based in general practice. “This was reconfirmed at our governing Council meeting in February, and the idea of a '3+1' model – whereby an additional year could be undertaken after the mandatory CCT training programme – was rejected, so we are disappointed with the outcome of this report today,” said RCGP Chair Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard

“General practice has the broadest curriculum, but the shortest specialty training programme – a paradox that has been widely recognised and the educational case for our calls for four-year training have previously been accepted, including by the original Shape of Training Review and the Tooke report ‘Aspiring to Excellence’.”

Among the RCGP’s “serious concerns” are that a ‘3+1’ model “would not offer a consistent and appropriate training experience, nor sufficiently prepare qualifying GPs for new models of general practice, the ongoing move of services from secondary care to the community, and the increasingly complex needs of the patient population – in the way that an enhanced four-year training programme would.”

Prof Lampard said the ambition of the RCGP was that future GPs should be “as confident to practise independently as possible – and it is our view that extending GP training by at least a year is the best way to do this.

“The College will continue to argue strongly that the length of mandatory GP training should be increased for all trainees to a minimum of four years. We will be responding fully to all aspects of the report in due course.”

Dr Jeeves Wijesuriya, BMA’s junior doctors committee chair, said: “The report acknowledges that decisions regarding the regulation of health professionals are not within the group’s remit. The government’s recent statement on NHS workforce expansion committed to consulting on any proposal to move the point of registration. The BMA has resisted attempts to move the point of registration, which would require significant changes to undergraduate medical curricula, compromising the quality of doctors’ training and patients’ care.

“We have argued robustly to preserve the current specialty training structure, and for maintaining the Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT). We insisted that amendments to training pathways, if needed, should be made by the Royal Colleges and Faculties. We have also argued for a model of credentialing that does not undermine the CCT or the coherence of training programmes. Any move that weakens the current standard of specialty training risks reducing the quality of patient care, and is therefore unacceptable to doctors.”

Links:
Shape of Training website            
RCGP statement                 

BMA statement https://www.bma.org.uk/news/media-centre/press-releases/2017/august/bma-response-to-the-launch-uk-shape-of-training-report

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