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Independents' Day

Number of GP trainers rises by more than 20% in nine months

Exclusive: The number of approved GP trainers in the UK has risen by 21% in nine months, with more than a thousand more GP trainers approved, Pulse can reveal.

Official GMC figures, collected quarterly from deaneries, show there were 5,847 approved GP trainers in March 2013, which is 1,044 more than the 4,803 approved in June 2012.

GP leaders said the figures were a ‘step in the right direction’ but that an increase in approved GP trainers didn’t necessarily equate to an increase in the number of training places available for GP trainees.

The news comes after Pulse revealed earlier this month that Health Education England is considering introducing a tariff that would see GPs contribute towards the salaries of GP trainees in return for the benefits they get from having a trainee working in their practice. The GPC warned the plans could spell ‘the end of general practice training as we know it’.

HEE has a target of recruiting 3,250 GP trainees per year, which will constitute 50% of medical graduates. However, Pulse also revealed that deaneries have recruited only 95 additional GP trainees to begin training next month, casting serious doubt on whether the new body - which was established in April this year - will reach its targets.

Dr Krishna Kasaraneni warned that the increase in trainers did not necessarily mean deaneries would be able to offer more training places.

He said: ‘Increased no of trainers does not mean an increased number of training places. There are lots of GP trainees and trainers say they don’t have the capacity to take them in - they don’t have the extra rooms and so forth. But these figures are a step in the right direction. ‘

He added: ‘This good work needs to be maintained. The training tariff that HEE wants to bring in, that’ll change the number of trainers. If they have to pay for the privilege of a GP trainee they might think twice. It will be detrimental.’

A spokesperson for Health Education England said they could not verify figures from another organisation, but welcomed an increase in the numbers of GP trainers.

They said: ‘It would certainly be encouraging to see an increase in the overall number of GP trainers so that we are able to provide the best possible education and training as we increase the number of GP trainees.’

GMC figures for the number of approved GP trainers

June 2012- 4803

Sept 2012- 5628

March 2013- 5847

Readers' comments (4)

  • Watch them all disappear again if charges for Training are introduced. It's like a roller coaster

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  • Its almost if the whole system was planned. Huge expense in bringing on new trainers and then the number of trainees will drop and the costs associated with them will rise. Is this planned chaos or are these rumours of practices contributing costs just there to scare people at the negotiating table.

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  • I have just been approved as a GP trainer. I really valued the time and energies my trainer invested in me and would love to pass this on. However if the DoH introduces a fee for this then I will resign. Like being a GOOD GP, being a GOOD trainer requires time and effort unfortunately there are some colleagues who abuse it and discredit us all in the process. The rule should be 1 trainee per trainer, that way you can not have a situation where there are 5 trainees in a practice with just one trainer.

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  • I was suckered into becoming a trainer a few years ago - not one mention of the e-Portfolio or ESR was made during the training - we were left to discover this nightmare waste of time afterwards. Hopefully the "improvements" in the eportfolio will reduce some of this timewasting burden, but charge practices for trainees & I cannot see anyone bothering. I am dropping out already as the time & pay are not worth it.

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