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18% of GP training places unfilled after two recruitment rounds

Around 18% of training places in England were unfilled after two rounds of recruitment, down on the proportion of places filled at this stage last year. 

The figures published on the GP National Recruitment Office website suggest that around 2,658 graduates have been recruited to start GP training this year - below the 2,691 recruited at this point last year.

It suggests that the target to recruit 3,250 GP trainees a year - which was first set for 2015 - will once again be missed.

The target of 3,250 has been a pillar of the Government's strategy to recruit 5,000 extra GPs by 2020.

However, despite encouraging signs over the past few years, Health Education England has continued to fall short.

The figures from the first round of recruitment this year suggested that HEE was on course to meet the target this year.

But these latest vacancy advertisments reveal a disappointing second round of recruitment.

Regions in the north of England and the East Midlands have historically struggled the most with recruitment.

This year, the Yorkshire and Humber deanery only added 19 trainees to its intake between the first and second rounds, with 110 of 328 places remaining unfilled. 

They also reveal high vacancy rates in the devolved nations, with Scotland still advertising 21% of its 350 places, Wales advertising 28 of its 130 vacancies while six of the 97 places in Northern Ireland were unfilled.

Earlier this month NHS England announced it was intending to recruit 2,000 GPs from overseas to offset the current workforce crisis.

More to follow

Readers' comments (9)

  • Everything is wonderful, everything is going fine, nothing to see here... everyone is happy... don't tell the juniors.

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  • like most people I am shocked that the fill rate is as high as it is.

    Once you recognize that many of those trainees will only ever be part time then the true scale of problems comes to the fore.

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  • Mr Mephisto

    The bottom of the barrel has been well and truly scraped.

    Training schemes need to start advertising in some of the more disreputable Caribbean medical schools - the ones that take all of the failed "not smart enough" to be US medical graduates.

    Perhaps the UK government needs to bring back some of its old policies and introduce a "Become A GP YTP scheme" - sorry the seem to have already introduced this policy.

    Crisis - what crisis?

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  • People will only jump through the multiple hoops if the rewards are worth it - there used to be job satisfaction and rewards - anyone with an ounce of intelligence is going to steer well clear.
    Impossible job/ high risk stress/ physical and mental health problems
    Low rewards financial and job satisfaction
    High risk of complaints leading to public humiliation posted on the Internet / Gmc hearings / risk of manslaughter
    Risk of bankruptcy if u are a partner
    Over regulation
    It was never like this how sad
    It's gone to far now we are at tipping point - don't get trapped

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  • *too far

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  • AlanAlmond

    6 of 97 places filled in Northern Ireland ..are you for real?
    I guess someone thinks they don't need GPs in Northern Ireland then ..crazy social experiment or what. Or did I miss something ..did they fix disease over there already?

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  • @3.45pm
    - I think it is 6 out of 97 Unfilled. Just a typo in the article. Pretty shambolic typo though.

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  • Thank you for this - it has been rectified

  • 'Who needs GPs anyway? All they do is hand out paracetamol and refer unnecessarily' -says the government

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  • I sincerely hope that the trainees/potential future GPs are not allowed to read these comments.Dont you guys know that its now going to take TEN positive comments to each trainee to off-set the damage caused by your blatant honesty?

    Its all about perceptions; a turd could be sculpted to look like a Toblerone bar.....and lets not argue about trivial details such as the taste.

    The mantra for the day, and all repeat after me, is "Its never been a better time to be a GP.Ommmmmmmm".

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