By Gareth Iacobucci
Exclusive: The RCGP’s proposal for GP training to be extended to five years has been knocked back by Government officials for a second time, Pulse has learned.
The Medical Education England programme board rejected the ‘educational case’ for change, and suggested trainee GPs could simply work longer hours, from 40 up to 48 a week, instead.
Its letter to the college said ‘there was clear consensus that the educational case for change had not been made’ although it added that it would welcome ‘a future presentation to the board of a more compelling case for extension’.
It added: ‘We recognise the college will be disappointed, but hope it recognises the board is providing every opportunity for it to make its case.’
RCGP chair Professor Steve Field put a brave face on the knock-back, saying: ‘We’re disappointed our proposals need more work, but we’re encouraged the committee wants us to go away and do that. Clearly these are difficult financial times, but I do believe GPs of the future will need longer training to meet the challenges of the increasing complexity of our consultations.’
But the move is understood to have riled the college hierarchy, which believes the need for longer training is ‘obvious’ and that the goalposts have been shifted.
The college is now planning to form a joint committee with the BMA to reinforce its efforts to push through five-year training, which it believes is essential to preserve the confidence of new GPs as they are faced with increasing levels of complex comorbidities and a shift of work from hospitals.
The RCGP’s plan for GP training to be extended to five years has been knocked back for a second time The RCGP’s plan for GP training to be extended to five years has been knocked back for a second time