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GP training ‘could be run by universities’

By Lilian Anekwe

Exclusive: The Government's proposals on GP training are set for a shake-up as ministers struggle with who should be responsible for education once SHA are abolished, the chair of the RCGP has revealed.

Dr Clare Gerada, RCGP chair, told Pulse GP education and training had dominated her recent meetings with Prime Minister David Cameron, and that she believed responsibility could transfer to universities, and not GP consortia, once SHA are abolished in 2014.

In the white paper, Developing the Health Care Workforce, published in December, the Department of Health set out plans to abolish deaneries along with SHAs, and replace them with a more 'bottom-up' system.

But Dr Gerada said: 'I think there is going to be significant changes to the education white paper. I get the sense they are going to look at putting the deanery functions into universities.'

'You cannot have workforce planning done at a local level, it just beggars belief. We are a small country, it has to be done at a national level or just a bit sub-national.'

The BMA has also said it believes ministers are considering several potential solutions for deaneries, 'including housing them within higher education institutions, creating them as individual special health authorities, or placing them under the auspices of Health Education England'.

In a letter to the NHS Future Forum, Dr Shree Datta and Dr Tom Dolphin, joint chairs of the BMA junior doctors' committee, said any changes should 'maintain national standards for education and training across the UK'.

Dr Clare Gerada