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GPs buried under trusts' workload dump

GMC recommends measures to help medical trainees switch specialities

Medical training in the UK 'needs radical overhaul' to become more flexible for trainees, a report from the GMC has recommended.

Among 'rigidity' in the current system, the GMC pointed to barriers for switching to GP training from other specialties or training abroad without going back to square one.

The GMC, which has overseen postgraduate training since 2010, said that to facilitate easier switching between specialties, it will 'require training to focus more on the generic professional capabilities common to all doctors'.

It is recommending that in future related specialties curricula begin to 'share common outcomes and elements' and says it will 'work with others to promote mechanisms which already exist to help trainees change training programmes'

The regulator said this includes the existing but not often used Academy of Medical Royal Colleges’ Accreditation of Transferable Competences Framework.

'Medical specialties will be asked to work together to identify aspects of their training that are common across related areas of practice, enabling doctors to switch specialties more easily,' the GMC said.

The report also acknowledged that the GMC's regulation is a hindrance to changes to medical education programmes, pledging to 'reduce the burden of its approval system so that medical colleges and faculties can make changes to postgraduate curricula more quickly'.

GMC chief executive Charlie Massey said: 'The way that medical training has developed in the last 30 years has contributed to the low morale that doctors in training continue to experience.

'The actions that we set out in our report can make a meaningful difference to the professional lives of doctors and the choices they make about their careers. But ultimately it is patients who will benefit the most from these changes.'

He added that the GMC will 'need all bodies involved in the delivery of UK medical education to work with us and be as determined as we are to deliver this ambitious vision'.

'If postgraduate training in the UK looks the same in five years’ time, then we will have failed trainees and we will have failed patients,' he said.

The report comes as analays by Pulse revealed that only 100 GPs have been added to the workforce as a result of the Govenrment's £500m rescue package.

At the same time, official data showed the overall number of FTE GPs decreased by over 400 in the last three months of 2016.

The Government has pledged that there will be 5,000 more GPs in the workforce by 2020, compared to 2015.





Readers' comments (3)

  • Step in the right direction.

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  • Just Your Average Joe

    There is a common thread to all postgraduate training:

    None of the trainees will be competent to do anything after the 40hr contract comes into place.

    Medical training with 120 hour weeks was madness and unsafe, 80 hours was busy but left plenty of time and opportunity for learning and training. cut the hours in half and you need to double the training time!

    Simple maths tells you that you need more years to learn if you reduce the hours so drastically.

    Now most of the trainees have lost the vocational drive that ran through the heart of doctors, who would not for a second consider putting in an overtime request to stay with a sick patient. Where now juniors will be told to fill in forms to fine trusts for running minutes over their 40hr strait jacket, or put down tools and walk out as the bell rings.

    Its not the fault of trainees who were brave enough to strike but were nuked into submission with the imposition of a contract leaving them high and dry.

    The culture has shifted so far that there is no continuity of supervision in most of the training, 4 months posts where you barely get to meet your supervisor before you change jobs, let alone learn anything, due to shifts and hot desk rotas where you move through with no time to learn due to service commitments.

    Pretty soon the surgical trainees will reach registrar and be the person on call for emergency and trauma - and barely know how to handle a hernia that goes South, forget handling emergency surgery.

    You can bus in 5000 new GPs - shame they won't have the knowledge or experience to replace the 400 odd who left in the 3/12 last measured - and the thousands due to follow in the next couple of years - unless you start rethinking training and the stupidity of a reduction to 40 hour contracts.

    Yup, all the training specialities will be united in their lack of experience and training.

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