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GPs buried under trusts' workload dump

Record number of GPs recruited after first round

Recruitment into GP specialty training has hit a record high, according to figures released by Health Education England today.

The GP specialty training fill rate for the first round of recruitment has increased by 2% compared to this time last year.

The figures revealed that 2,598 trainees were accepted this round compared with 2,533 at the same stage as last year. HEE reports they are hopeful they will again meet their target of recruiting 3250 trainees.

Last year, the target was surpassed for the first time when Matt Hancock announced that nearly 3,500 trainees had been recruited, a 10% increase from the previous year.

HEE deputy medical director for primary care Professor Simon Gregory said: ‘After our record-breaking year last year when we exceeded our target, we are delighted that trainees are continuing to apply for GP specialty training in such large numbers. It shows that our campaign to highlight General Practice as a rewarding, sustainable, flexible career is having a great impact.

‘It’s great that so many doctors are choosing a career in general practice. Many of our educators are telling us that the calibre of applicants is also high which is great news. I would like to thank everyone who is working hard to promote GP Specialty Training.

RCGP chair Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard said the numbers were ‘excellent news.’

She said: ‘It’s hugely encouraging to see that a record number of doctors are choosing a career in general practice, helping to provide high-quality care to thousands of patients every day.

‘Being a GP can be the best job in the world – it’s dynamic, varied, intellectually-stimulating and enormously rewarding – as long as we are given the proper resources and funding we need to allow us to keep up with patient demand and the evolving face of modern healthcare.

‘GPs are the cornerstone of the NHS, which is why it’s more important than ever that we redouble our efforts to ensure the profession is not only fit for new recruits, but also for existing GPs and those who might be thinking of returning to general practice.

‘We will continue to work with the Government and others to achieve this within the shortest possible time, notwithstanding the challenges we face.’

Earlier this year, an official report showed fewer trainee doctors in their foundation year were intending to become GPs.

Meanwhile, in January, Mr Hancock told Pulse he had not set a target date for when the Government should meet the target of recruiting 5,000 GPs. 

Readers' comments (19)

  • From discussions with colleagues who are thinking of GPVT, it seems their ambitions are to do part time Locum’s and never become a Partner!

    So it doesn’t bode well for the future ( GPS & patients )

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  • accepting more could simply suggest criteria being used are increasingly weak, anything to show the DOH / RCGP policy is working.
    Cynical I know but would be interesting to know WHY those young Docs want to do GP, other than they've had no exposure and so have no idea what is in store. (then again Oz / NZ is very appealing if pre-kids or still not completely broken…)

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  • Shortest route out of the NHS, MRCGP and emigrate.

    And anyone who thinks an extra 60 trainees up on last year will fix the recruitment crisis needs to work on their arithmetic.

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  • Many of our educators are telling us that the calibre of applicants is also high which is great news.


    However in a practice with several trainers / educators working, they are the last people I would want to treat my family. Not sure they are best placed to judge calibre of applicants.
    How many will still be high calibre in 5 years time once they've finished the college colouring book and done the skydive medicals?

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  • Never mind all the naysayers above.
    HSL still says ‘Being a GP can be the best job in the would........’ and she should know?

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  • And how many will leave within 5 years?

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  • More record tractor nonsense from the news managing HEE.
    Anyway its not how much sausage meat you force into the machine its how many that end up on the plate that counts.
    Interestingly taking my dog to the vets this morning apparently it is more or less impossible to find young vets who want to work. They all disappear after vet school and he is having to work beyond retirement and pay very high locum fees.
    As my father used to say - your generation "needs a good war"- more true now than ever.

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  • Train as many as you like job is still shite, they won’t stay

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  • Headline in 3Yrs time: Record number of GPs burnout after first their job.

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  • Welcome to the Global Market!

    The NHS is a healthcare company just like any other countries.

    As such the NHS must remain competitive in today's market if it wishes to keep doctors.

    So could people stop whining with piss poor statements like "your generation needs a good war".

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