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#GPnews: RCGP welcomes 'excellent news' about GP training figures

15:50 Responding to today’s GP recruitment figures from Health Education England - which showed 30% of GP training places remained unfilled - Dr Maureen Baker, RCGP chair, said: ’This is a vote of confidence in GPs and the future of general practice – and excellent news for our patients who will ultimately benefit.

’We hope this will be the start of a turning tide. It is a testament to the sterling work of our faculties, practising GPs and university GP Societies who are going all out to promote our fantastic profession and illustrate to future generations what an exciting, challenging and stimulating career being a GP can be.

’Today’s announcement also shows that the 10 point plan launched last year by the College, NHS England, Health Education England and the BMA is having a positive and very tangible impact.

’Creating the number of GPs we need is a challenging task, so this increase in GP numbers is a fantastic step in the right direction.

’I have already written to all foundation doctors encouraging them to consider a career in general practice, and we hope that many more medical students will be encouraged to join our profession.

’We now need to ensure that general practice is fully supported. General practice is the cornerstone of the health service. We keep the NHS sustainable and our patients safe - but we desperately need more resources and more GPs so that we can continue to provide excellent patient care.

’We hope that today’s vote of confidence in the future of general practice will add further weight to our call on ministers to increase funding for general practice to 11% of the NHS budget so that we can deliver the safe care our patients need and deserve for years to come.’

14:25 The CQC continues to face strong opposition on its move to push ahead with proposals to increase fees

Yesterday the regulator announced that it would bring in the fee hikes over the next two years - which will see practices paying an average of £1,839 more in CQC fees from April, after the regulator chose to bring its six-fold fee increase in over two years rather than spread it over four, as previously proposed. 

Dr Rosemary Leonard, a GP and well-known health commentator has joined many others in lambasting the CQC’s move to increase the fees. 

12:30  A brilliant YouTube video has been doing the rounds on Twitter today, featuring GP, Dr John Cormack, who has created a blues song addressing the current struggles that GP practices across the country are dealing with. Well worth a listen over your lunch break! 

11:15 It is the NHS England board meeting today. NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said that the GP ’roadmap’ - through which health secretary Jeremy Hunt will announce an emergency package for general practice - will be announced ‘very shortly’.

NHS England has also published its guide for CCGs to manage conflicts of interest. More on that to follow.

10:55  Elsewhere, the Guardian reports this morning that senior doctors are calling for patients to have round the clock access to end of life care.

It comes after a recent report into the care of people dying in hospital found that patients who die overnight or at the weekend may not have access to the right care – because only 11% of hospital trusts are providing specialist palliative services 24/7. 

Amanda Cheesley, the Royal College of Nursing’s lead on end of life care, said hospitals should be providing end of life care at all times.

9:30 Pulse’s investigation on vitamin D has revealed that prescriptions have increased 40% since the start of a Government drive to get more people taking supplements, which has in turn substantially increased costs.

It also revealed that trusts are spending far more on testing.

This is despite doubts about the effectiveness of vitamin D, and amid claims that the push is overmedicalising the population.

Read the story here and thefull investigation here.

Got a story? Let us know by tweeting the hashtag #GPnews or emailing

Readers' comments (9)

  • Is everybody getting excited boys and girls soon Mr *unt will reveal is package to save GP land.Please everyone don't run , make your way towards the exits in an orderley fashion.

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  • Ooooooer extremely excited. ... just spotted the exit door and can't wait to get out of this dreadful job that I used to really enjoy.
    no one is going to help us at the coal face. Time to help yourself and leave emigrate retire or career change.

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  • Interesting comment from Dr Baker regarding training places: on which planet is a 30% vacancy tate a success?

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  • Stuart Calder

    I agree with the last comment. A 30% vacancy rate sounds very disappointing. We used to fill 100% of the vacancies on our VTS. Am I missing something?

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  • Does Maureen Baker ever speak to REAL GPs about the reality of General Practice? Totally deluded!

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  • Dr Baker is either the queen of the cynical yet straight-faced delivery or else she is suffering from a delusional disorder and hypomania.A fuller history and assessment of her mental state would probably be in order, what with the GMC rules on concerns relating to a colleagues ability to perform their job without putting patients at risk.

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  • Oh lordy, in what dimension is a 30% vacancy rate great news???

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  • I'll have some of what they are putting in the Euston Square water as they seem to be on one hell of a trip.

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  • To me, never mind,CQC, GMC, Medico-legal issues, 7 day working, 50% drop in pay per item in 10 years, never mind personalized plans for everyone in the practice, never mind penance and neglect or 53 patients in a day, Never mind all of these and more.
    What really worries me is what Peverley was so anxious about = bankruptcy if you are the last in a practice and cannot cope.
    You could be the best doctor seeing 50 + patients a day, working 14 hours, you can still go bankrupt as they cut funding.
    Locum, yes. Salaried, yes.
    partnership, never again.

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