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GPs go forth

RCGP warns HEE cuts pose serious threat to GP training

Proposed cuts to the GP training budget could seriously threaten quality, the RCGP has warned.

As revealed by Pulse, all areas of Health Education England's GP training spend are being considered for cuts except trainee salaries, as HEE has to trim its budget by 20%-30%.

RCGP chair Dr Helen Stokes-Lampard said she was 'frustrated' to learn the news and has already written to 'all bodies involved' outlining the college's concerns.

She said: 'It was frustrating to hear reports of plans to significantly cut funding for GP training by Health Education England.

‘Although this wouldn’t affect GP trainees’ salaries, it would seriously threaten the quality of training, when we should be pulling out all the stops to make it as attractive as possible for medical students.

‘I have already written to all bodies involved strongly outlining our concerns and will keep you updated of the outcome.’

At the end of February, several high-placed sources at HEE confirmed to Pulse that they were considering cuts to all areas of GP training, with only trainee salaries being protected.

GPC’s education, training and workforce lead Dr Krishna Kasaraneni said at the time that 'GP training practices are already operating at a significant loss as they provide training with poor funding and out of goodwill' and therefore 'any such cuts could spell the end of GP training as we know it'.

HEE is responsible for meeting the Governments’ target of adding 5,000 GP’s to the workforce by 2020, but despite increasing the number of GP’s starting their training it has failed to meet its objective of training 3,250 a year by 2016.

However, last week HEE chief executive Professor Ian Cumming told MPs on the Public Accounts Committee that GP trainee recruitment is up 4.7% this year compared to the same stage in 2016.

Readers' comments (10)

  • Usual Stalinist news management on the HEE website:

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  • Sorry to go on about this but you would have thought that a 30% cut in funding would be at least mentioned. Deliberate suppressing of this is dishonest and quite frankly disgusting.

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  • Vinci Ho

    (1) Choice of word , Helen . You were not 'frustrated' ; you should be 'pi**ed off'
    (2) The level of hypocrisy about recruiting and training GPs is from top to bottom considering Auntie May would never apologise to us about what she said in public. Our common enemy has not disappeared but only changed its outlook.
    (3) Presumably you have written to Sarah Wollaston and Health Select Committe. Political question needs a political answer . This is one mission for her if she wants to prove to us what she stands for .

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  • As always, Vinci is spot on.

    The 30% cut to Programme Directors is very real and many have already applied for voluntary redundancy.

    I am furious I am expected to train more GPs and other HCPs but with far less time to do this.

    No one at the very top of this mess has the balls to stand up and say No.

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  • Cobblers

    Then Shaba Nabi those, wherever they are in the mess, who have the balls should say "NO".


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  • Shaba Nabi

    I hate to say this but HEE and the deaneries have played a significant role in the struggles of GP and hospital medicine.

    We are training juniors to be box tickers and then wonder why they cannot cope.

    I think a cull of programme directors may be good if it sharpens minds and allows people to think what actually matters.

    Is so much resource spent on e-portfolio worthwhile or so much time on day release rather then seeing patients?

    HEE has lived in a protected vacuum where many of the programme directors have seen these posts as a career move. It has resulted in 'educationalists' rather then practicing clinicians taking charge of juniors and we are seeing the results.

    I do think the same critique applies to medical school faculties as well.
    It is provocative and it is not meant to be an insult but I have seen the increased and in my view damaging role of non scientific educationalists ruin large parts of medical training.

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  • To be fair the majority of what I saw our programme directors do was sit around and drink coffee on the training days and deliver slightly sub standard lectures. And criticise us for not being reflective enough. I don't agree with the cuts but Jo Smit may have a point about shaking things up a bit.

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  • Just to be clear - it is not the Deanery or Programme Directors who set the exam or curriculum - it is the RCGP. Many of us feel it is overly onerous with too much time spent reflecting on the eportfolio.

    I am not at all surprised by the criticism of Educators. It has become very fashionable to criticise anyone who is not on the front line working 10 sessions per week.

    Trust me, I do a lot more than sitting around drinking coffee. Which bits of it would you like us to drop? The pastoral care? The checking that hospital posts are not shafting our trainees? The panel screening? The ongoing support to practice and hospital supervisors who are struggling to fit all this in as well as their day job? ( I am a Supervisor myself so am aware how challenging it can be)

    Remember who the real enemies are.

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  • Vinci Ho

    One reason why Mao was so 'successful' in 1968 cultural revolution was he managed to 'mobolise' people under his rule to point fingers against each other ,even son prosecuting his own father etc.
    Ultimately , any voice of opposition is wiped out.......

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  • I think jo smith has a a days gp trainees are tick box doctors.this culture should change.

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