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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Health education bosses miss GP training target

Health Education England has failed to reach its target of delivering 3,250 doctors in GP training by 2016, despite having previously had the deadline extended by a year.

September represents the final intake for GP training in 2016 and there were 2,691 places filled after two recruitment rounds.

While this is an improvement on the previous year, it is still 17% behind its target, which the Coalition Government said should be reached by September 2015 as part of its mandate to HEE in 2014.

In its 2015 mandate to HEE, the DH extended the deadline to August 2016 because of a surprise 15% slump in applications for training.

HEE will be running a third round of recruitment this autumn, but they will not begin training until February 2017, meaning the target has once again been missed despite increases in the number of GP training places being filled.

A HEE spokesperson said: ’We are still recruiting for 2016 - we will publish fill rate when this is complete and stable.’

Dr Krishna Kasaraneni, who chairs the GPC’s education, training and workforce subcommittee, told Pulse: ’We’re not in the least bit surprised the target hasn’t been reached. 

’But the fact is, there’s now an acknowledgement from NHS England that the professions is struggling and for people to consider a general practice, there is a need to invest in it over a sustained period of time. That’s a step in the right direction.’

The GP Forward View set out a number of investments for addressing long-term issues in general practice in the hope of increasing recruitment and retention – however it has been criticised for lacking immediate support.

Since the 3,250 target was set, HEE has been told to deliver 5,000 more GPs, as well as 5,000 nurses, pharmacists, and other staff to support them by 2020.

However, Pulse has shown that this target also looks a long way off.

The Department of Health has yet to issue a 2016/17 mandate for HEE, the organisation in charge of training the NHS’s future workforce, with more than half the year gone.

Readers' comments (7)

  • Is anyone suprised???

    its not as though they haven't tried to entice new recruits into the profession with all the pay cuts, autocratic management and bureaucracy, bullying, media denigration and destruction of morale.

    And they've even tried to lure back the ones who they have trained but whom have fled this rotten sinking vessel called the NHS....

    another day another disaster in broken Britian and the tale of woe known as the NHS

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  • John Glasspool

    So who will be sacked in HEE?

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  • i'm impressed they got 2,691 - given the relentless negative onslaught against doctors in general.

    this calls for a promotion at HEE - back slaps all around.

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  • General Practice in the UK is without doubt one of the most stressful jobs there has to be. Escalating patient demand coupled with the increasing threat of litigation makes the job seriously unattractive. GPs were once admired for their generalist qualities, but the level of risk associated with 10 minute consultations is understandably off putting for many doctors.

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  • Pay the and they will come. Otherwise ditch the RCGP , the contract and the country comrades

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  • Vinci Ho

    The leading article on BBC News today (Sunday) is:
    Seven-day NHS 'impossible under current funding levels'. Whether is 7 days hospital or GP routine care , it clearly will put people off to join this profession .....

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-37331350

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  • In its current state the GP as a carrier is not attractive to anyone. Increasing demands and practice of mostly social medicine. Endless time spent in reassuring worried well and constant battle in selling the rationed care to ever increasing demanding patients is taking its toll in broken moral amongst the GP land solders.
    The negative publicity, GP bashing press, increasing workload, all of these are the root cause of the lack of interest in GP carrier and in the wider NHS.

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