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BMA warns GP training grants must rise

The BMA has warned of a potential mass exodus of GP trainers if deaneries are not granted more funding towards training grants.

Four-out-of-ten GP trainers responding to the BMA’s annual pay review survey said they would consider resigning if there is no significant uplift, while almost 60% would resist any further rise in workload at all.

Almost nine-in-ten said the current funding is insufficient based on the workload.

The BMA’s warning has come as part of its annual submission of evidence to the Doctors and Dentists Review Body, with the union saying the findings come as the need for trainers will only rise amid reforms to GP education and training.

The submission said: ‘The reforms taking place in education and training will continue to increase the workload and need for GP educators, as will the introduction of revalidation and the consequent expectation of more doctors requiring remediation.’

Commenting on the BMA survey, Dr Hamed Khan, a GP in Oxted, Surrey, and former chairman of the London Deanery GP Training Committee, said the number of GP trainers that would consider quitting is ‘completely understandable’.

He said: ‘GP training is a difficult, time-consuming job. It is a lot of work and it should be remunerated sufficiently.

‘Even before taking training into account the everyday workload for GPs is increasing. It not only affects trainers but also trainees. I have heard from trainee colleagues who said there is not enough funding for them to access the level of learning they need.’

He added: ‘There is no doubt, with the state our country is in currently, that we need more GPs. Therefore we need more trainees and if this is not sufficiently funded the whole of the NHS will suffer as a result.’

Dr Barry Lewis, chair of the Committee of General Practice Education Directors, said the organisation agreed with the BMA points.

He said: ‘Working with the RCGP, we are making every attempt to reduce some of the administrative workload within training, but expansion of training for GP as well as delivering enhanced and extended GPST will lead to increased workload that should be recognised through remuneration.’

‘GPs remain on ‘flat rate’ pay with no opportunity to have their educational work recognised in remuneration. Some are actually disadvantaged, which has an effect on recruiting senior educators.’


BMA survey results broken down

  • The number of GP trainers that consider current funding to be insufficient: 85.5%
  • The number of GP trainers that would consider resigning if there is no significant uplift: 39.5%
  • The number of GP trainers that would actively resist attempts to introduce additional un-resourced work: 57%
  • The number of hours, currently, that GP trainers consider reasonable to allocate to training: 5.16
  • The actual average number of hours they provide: 6.43