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Training cuts are senseless

Within Sir Liam Donaldson's hugely contentious proposals to overhaul regulation, there was at least one general principle GPs could agree with ­ the need to promote and maintain high standards.

What follows from this is the vital importance of continuing education to ensure GPs stay up to date and on top of their game.

So a rational expectation would be that, hand in hand with the CMO's recommendations, should come a commitment from Government and the NHS to support such a training programme. But no. That would be too sensible. Instead, courses are being cut. Tutors are being laid off. Funding is drying up.

Utterly unreasonable

It is common in business for training to be the first casualty when times are hard. But medicine is not business.

Ensuring GPs can accurately diagnose bowel cancer is more important than ensuring a sales team knows the latest cold calling techniques.

It is utterly unreasonable to expect GPs to demonstrate their competence every five years, including potentially to pass a knowledge test, if you deny them the means to maintain that competence.

So instead of cutting deanery funding, the Government should significantly increase it.

Rather than allowing raids on training budgets to cover deficits, ministers should send the clear message this money is sacrosanct. Cut training and you cut standards. And in the long run, you pay for it.

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