The number of doctors accepting GP trainee places in England has risen again this year – by 7% – following initial recruitment rounds.
Health Education England figures show 3,690 GP trainee places have been filled so far in 2021, which is up on the 3,441 who had accepted a place at the same point last year.
This is the fourth year in a row that the number of trainees has risen – and means 98% of the 3,733 training posts on offer for 2021 so far are already filled ahead of a further recruitment round.
The number of trainees has again already exceeded the Government-mandated target for 3,250 GP trainees to be in place every year.
HEE is on track to beat last year’s record, which saw 3,793 doctors enter GP training after the completion of all recruitment rounds – the highest ever seen.
Health Education England is aiming to offer 4,000 training places in 2021, a move that was announced last year, following the success of recent trainee recruitment.
Professor Wendy Reid, HEE’s medical director and director of education and equality, said: ‘Once again this year we have excellent fill rates across all medical specialties which is good news for patients, the NHS and the profession.
‘We will be training more doctors in primary care, cancer and mental health all of which are NHS priorities, and we are progressing well towards the target of 4,000 GP trainees.
She added: ‘The 2021 recruitment round saw a 35% increase in applicants compared to previous years which reflects the number of junior doctors keen to pursue an NHS career.
‘It is excellent news that we have managed to fill our training posts almost to maximum capacity however the high numbers of applications do mean that it has been very competitive and not all applicants will have been successful.
‘We will be working with partners in Trusts, the Royal Colleges and the BMA to support those doctors who were not successful this time so they can review the available options.’