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GPs go forth

Half of medical students to become GPs by 2015

Health Education England will ensure that half of medical students become GPs by 2015, the Government has announced.

The Government’s five-year mandate to Health Education England said that the body would adopt the target first set out by former health secretary Andrew Lansley last year for half of of medical training places to go to GPs.

Mr Lansley had promised a 20% increase in GP places at medical schools by 2015, but this target was not mentioned in the mandate.

Pulse reported last year that deaneries were failing to respond to the growing workforce crisis in general practice, creating only eight more GP training places across the UK last year, but increasing the number of specialist places by several hundred.

This meant the proportion of GP trainees fell from 40% in 2011 to 36% in 2012.

The Government placed the target in the ‘short-term deliverables’ section of the mandate given to the new NHS body. It called on Health Education England ‘to ensure progress should be made in each year of the mandate towards ensuring that 50% of medical students become GPs’.

The mandate also included a new five-year workforce plan to ensure the right levels of staffing and training across the health service workforce by autumn 2013, with an eye to increasing the number of emergency doctors, and a commitment for more GPs to have mandatory training in mental health and children’s health.

Health minister Dr Dan Poulter said: ‘The staff working in our NHS are our health service’s most precious resource, and we must do all we can to ensure that our staff have the right values, training, and skills to deliver the very highest quality of care for patients.

‘Today’s mandate to Health Education England, backed by a £5bn budget will help our many dedicated frontline staff to further improve their ability to care for patients as well as enabling our NHS to train the next generation of doctors, nurses and healthcare assistants.’


Please note, this story was changed at 16:20 on 28 March to reflect that the target is to be met by 2015, not 2018.

Readers' comments (11)

  • Leading the sheep to the slaughter


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  • More trainees to help the RCGP to pay down its debts!

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  • What happened to freedom of choice and the free market.

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  • Mmmmm,

    All these prospective GPs would need to have GP trainers. Not much hope of that if you alienate actual GPs and pay them a derisory amount for training. How about retaining the GPS you have.

    A bird in the hand…...

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  • I have just wet myself laughing

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  • why,oh why are there no positive suggestions that might even lead to advancement of the GP.s influence in this situation.

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  • Message to those young doctors coming out of med school: DO NOT CHOOSE GENERAL PRACTICE!!!

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  • 6th Dec 2012

    "The number of trainee doctors in England will be reduced to tackle a growing over-supply of medics, the Department of Health has said.

    The number of medical school places will be cut by 124 places, or 2 per cent, in 2013-14 with a further review pending for the 2015 intake.

    Health minister Dan Poulter said: “The government is taking action now so that patients’ needs will continue to be met in 2025, and money is not wasted training more doctors than the NHS requires, who could end up having to go abroad to find work.”

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  • Better put them under armed guard and frog march them in then !

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  • I wonder how many trainers recommend Pulse to their students.If they choose to go into General Practice knowing full well what the current situation is they deserve all the rogering they're gonna get.

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