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GP trainees 'on the front foot' as health bill boosts job opportunities

Employment opportunities for GP registrars are rapidly improving as practices prepare to take on more commissioning work, senior RCGP figures have revealed.

RCGP chair Dr Clare Gerada revealed that the GP vacancy rate was running at 2.5% at the moment, up 1% year-on-year, a development that Dr Gerada said would mean trainees will have greater control than over their working conditions.

The figure was raised during a Q&A session with GP registrars at the RCGP Annual Conference in Liverpool.

Her remarks came in response to trainee concerns over what the RCGP was doing to equal out the discrepancies in registrar contracts across the country.

RCGP chair Dr Clare Gerada told the audience of GP trainees: 'I want to slightly reassure you last year there were 2.5% vacancies and the year before that it was 1.5%.'

‘You're on the front foot and there are plenty of jobs out there – even in times of austerity, we're removing 2-7% of everyday GP activity to do commissioning.'

Dr Gerada said that she shared the trainee's concerns that those entering the profession were employed under fair terms, but admitted that she didn't feel it was 'up to the college' to equal out contracts across the country.

RCGP treasurer Dr Colin Hunter added: 'In times of austerity there's a lot of pressure on registrar payments and supplements and, educationally, I think there' a lot to be learnt through out-of-hours, and there could be a move the BMA could make to justify supplementary payment.'

'But when you're an independent contractors you're running a business and we have to contract as effectively, and as cost-effectively, as we can using salaried and locum GPs. It's a market, and will ever be thus.'

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