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GP trainee numbers set to rise next year

The number of GP trainees starting training in August 2013 is set to increase to almost 3,000, according to Department of Health estimates.

Health minister Earl Howe confirmed that the DH expected between 2,869 and 2,953 to begin their training in August, for which applications close on 7 December. This is an increase on this year’s figure of 2,689 and is a step towards meeting the Government’s ambitious target of 3,250 trainees a year by 2015.

The figures revealed that the number of trainees dipped in 2011 to 2,677 from 2,743 in 2010 and 2,695 in 2009.

The figures were revealed in a response to Dr Derek Greatorex, the chairman of  South Devon and Torbay CCG following Earl Howe’s appearance at the NAPC  annual conference. He said: ‘Worryingly there seems to be a reduction in the number of new doctors choosing primary care as a career option.’

RCGP chair Dr Clare Gerada said: ‘We think there should be 20% more GPs by 2022.’ This works out at 10,000 more or about one per practice, she said.
She added: ‘I estimated a year ago we have lost 600 full time equivalents from commissioning.’