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a stethoscope image cbNovember 30 2017

The number of people entering GP training increased by 138 to 3,157, new data from Health Education England shows. This is “the highest ever number of people entering GP training in NHS history,” it said.

Recruitment figures for 2017 indicate 3,093 new people were recruited for places in England, and with additional recruitment routes, there were 3,157 starters (a 95.2% fill rate). The figures were 89 recruitments in Northern Ireland (a 91.8% fill rate ) and 147 in Wales (a 108.1% fill rate).

Professor Kamila Hawthorne, RCGP Vice Chair, said: “More junior doctors have chosen to specialise in general practice than last year, so progress is being made, but it’s clear there is much more to do.

“Our report, ‘Destination GP’, demonstrates that by their final year at university 76% medical students have heard negative comments about general practice at some point during their medical training. This immediately needs to be addressed if we are to secure the GP workforce of the future that we so desperately need.”

The RCGP’s ‘Destination GP’ report, based on an independent survey of 3,680 medical students, also found that by their fifth year, 70% of students reported hearing derogatory comments about general practice whilst on clinical placements, while 37% of those surveyed reported hearing them at medical school.

The General Medical Council has published the findings of its annual survey of doctor training, raising concerns that “education and training for doctors is too reliant on the goodwill and sacrifices made by senior colleagues who act as trainers.”

With responses from more than 75,000 doctors, the GMC said the survey reveals the pressures faced by those training and supporting junior colleagues.

“Doctors who act as trainers have to fit their training roles around daily duties as either consultants or GPs, and almost half told the GMC that to do so they have to work beyond their rostered hours each week. Nearly a third do so daily,” said the GMC. “Around one in three trainers report that their job plans do not allow them enough time to fulfil their trainer role.”

In addition: “Those who had heard negative comments from clinicians, educational trainers and/or academics, report complaints about inappropriate referrals (37%), suggestions that GPs are of a lower status to other medical professionals (25%) and claims that general practice is undemanding and easy (15%).”

Charlie Massey, GMC Chief Executive, said: “We mustn’t take the continued high quality of medical training across the UK for granted, and we cannot afford to lose the services of trainers by abusing their dedication and goodwill. Yet despite the pressures, most doctors in training continue to rate the quality of their training highly. Just over 75% described the quality of teaching in their post as ‘good’ or ‘very good’.”

Links:
HEE announcement         
HEE GP Recruitment figures          
RSCGP comment               
RCGP announcement on negative perceptions of general practice                
GMC announcement       

Management News

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