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Analysis: Practices may struggle to replace retired GPs

The transition between three and four year training will need to be managed carefully, but will result in GPs becoming much more rounded practitioners, says Dr Krishna Kasaraneni

Everyone acknowledges that the educational case for four-year training is very strong, but - depending on which year it comes into place - there will obviously be one year where there will not be trainees coming through. There will have to be a gap.

Without getting a huge number of CCTs in that one year, some practices may struggle to replace retired GPs. We are already hearing about increasing work in general practice in general but if you don’t then have newly qualified GPs coming out, some practices who are hoping to recruit may struggle a bit more.

There are many salaried GPs in the system and a lot of sessional GPs who may take more sessions on. Realistically, it is difficult to say how much of an impact this will have. It is something that needs to be looked at in more detail and we have to mitigate against the loss of trainees.

They will still be in primary care predominantly. But the fourth year is not all based in general practice. They would be doing sessions in the community and in hospitals, etc.

The idea is that that extra experience would make them essentially a much more rounded practitioner. I would hope that once you get the new trainees, it will mitigate against the loss for one year.

Dr Krishna Kasaraneni is chair of the GPC GP Trainees Subcommittee

Readers' comments (1)

  • The problem of finding replacement parners has little to do with 4 yr v 3 yr training cycles. The main problem is the reluctance of new GPs to commit to partnerships.

    Who can blame them. General Practice is in the process of being dismantled by politicians. CQC will increasingly become intrusive into your businesses and make demands not based on any evidence. Profits will be squeezed more and more but expenses will increase. You will be forced to chase after QOF points with absolulely no evidence to say they are worthwhile. Employment law will make staff matters a headache. CCG's will increasingly become the scapegoats for NHS shortfalls and it will be up to your practice to put in place rationing with all the hassle and grief that will bring from increasingly demanding patients.

    New doctors will have debts of up to £100,000 from student days for the privilage of seeing patients and being exposed to all of their demands and expectations.

    Who on earth would then volunteer to become a partner in a practice with all of the financial demands that will make as well with no guarantee of the financial future but a 100% guarantee of all of the hassle and responsibility of being a partner.

    One can see why they want to be salried. Which of course then plays into the hands of the system which has tried for years to control GP's. As a salaried GP the piper calls the tune and you dance to it. The vicious cycle of the demise of General Practice accelerates making being a partner less and less attractive.

    General Practice as we have known it is on the way out. Older GPs will take the exit, younger ones will be employed by Virgin etc and the previous model of providing care will evaporate into thin air.


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