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DH demands more evidence on five-year GP training

By Gareth Iacobucci

The Government had ordered the RCGP to come back with more evidence before it will consider extending GP training from three to five years.

The college recently published detailed proposals to extend GP specialty training, claiming current three-year programme failed to sufficiently equip trainees for the complexities of general practice.

But the Government has refused to sanction the move, claiming the RCGP document, submitted to the DH, did not convincingly demonstrate that a change is needed.

The recommendation to extend training to cope with the shift of more complex care to the community was initially made in Sir John Tooke's report into the Modernising Medical Careers programme.

But Clare Chapman, director general of Workforce at the department of health, said: ‘In terms of five years, I'm aware there's been a request for some time. What I've said is show me the evidence.'

She said the college had been asked to resubmit proposals and new evidence to Medical Education England for consideration.

Professor Steve Field, chair of the RCGP, said the evidence base for an extension was already strong, and that the college would continue to try and thrash out a deal.

‘After three years graduates are competent, but not as confident as they could be.

We believe extended training of generalists is in the best interest of patients. The RCGP is continuing to work with the Department of Health on this issue.'

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