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GPs buried under trusts' workload dump

Students at new medical school to be 'embedded in GP practice' for five years

Trainee doctors will be encouraged to become GPs at a new medical school, with students to spend time in GP practices throughout their studies.

The medical school at Anglia Ruskin University, which will be the first in Essex, has received approval from the GMC and courses are due to begin by next September. 

The university plans to bid for ‘about 100’ of the additional 1,500 training places promised by the Government last year, and which it has proposed would go to medical schools that aim to boost GP trainee numbers by exposing students to general practice.

Dr Ruth Jackson, dean at the faculty of medical science, told Pulse that the university is looking ‘to invest students in primary care from very early on, so they get early exposure, they feel comfortable in the clinical environment’, which will encourage them ‘to make general practice a choice’.

She said this will see students be ‘embedded in a primary care practice from year one through to year three’, spending five days in a practice ‘in each of the first three years’.

She added: ‘And then they will go into a second general practice in their final two years and they will have two blocks of four weeks each.’

Students in the first three years ‘will start with observation and then develop hands-on clinical skills’, Dr Jackson said, while students in the final two years will be undertaking ‘traditional clinical placements’ in general practice with supervised consultations.

The new school of medicine building, located at the university's Chelmsford campus and currently under construction, will also be fitted with ‘mock’ GP teaching and consulting rooms.

It comes as several studies, including in the BJGP, have noted a link between exposure to high-quality GP placements in medical school and doctors opting to enter GP training.

Essex has struggled with recruitment since 2014 when NHS England promised to attract new GPs to the area, with one permanent GP to more than 8,000 residents in places.

A brochure for the new medical school highlights official statistics, which show that Essex ranks among ‘the worst in the country for the number of GPs under the age of 35’. 

It adds that the lack of young GPs ‘means that there will be an insufficient future supply’. 

Professor John Kinnear, head of the school of medicine, said students would be exposed to 'primary care in it's full breadth'.

He said: 'So we are putting together a theme in terms of its associated interests such as community and mental health, and all the related elements such as nutrition, disease prevention and so on.' 

Readers' comments (14)

  • £80 pound an hour for extended hours is not for the GP, its for the whole shooting match reception heating lighting etc, its a con.Extended hour des is underfunded government pap wouldn't touch with a barge pole.

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  • @turnoutthelights

    If you complete your extended hours surgeries with GP appointments, it is never going to be good value. It does not have to be that way. The extended hours DES can include any appointments and does not need to include GP appointments.

    For example 10000 patient surgery, the annual payment is 19000.
    It requires 300 minutes (5 hours) of extended hours per week.

    If you have a GP doing an hour each morning, that means 250 GP hours for 10k, which is 40 pounds per hour. -- better off to stay in bed.

    If instead you do extended hours all on a Wednesday, and have 1 GP, 2 phlebotomists and 2 nurses (for an hour). The other clinical staff might cost 50 pounds per week = 2500/year.
    Add in a receptionist for another 10 pounds and it is 3000/year. (4000 with on costs)
    That leaves 15000 pounds for one hour per week GP time. Which is 300 pounds per hour.

    You could take it one step further and replace the GP with a HCA or nurse practitioner.

    The only requirement is you must include your PPG in the decision, but worded correctly they will answer yes. i.e. Do you want to have nurse and blood test appointments in the evenings?

    In summary - there are ways to make the extended hours DES reasonable value.

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    Medical degrees need to change their titles to clarify the planned future prospects ...
    MBCHB Gen prac
    MBCHB Surgery
    etc etc
    Many students may not realise what they are getting themselves into thinking all places are the same
    Problem based learning aka dumbing down ??

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    The medical school at Anglia Ruskin University, which will be the first in Essex, has received approval from the GMC...
    Since when is this the GMC'S Remit
    do you mean the RCGP. ??

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