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GP registrars call for commissioning training

By Laura Passi

GP registrars have called for dedicated sessions on commissioning to be incorporated into training amid widespread apprehension about the changes to the GP role that the NHS reforms will bring.

A survey of more than 200 GP registrars in London found that nearly three quarters do not believe they are equipped to take on commissioning responsibilities, although half were in favour of GPs playing a greater role.

There is also serious concern regarding the nature of the proposed reforms with 80% of registrars worried about the role of private healthcare providers and 60% concerned that GP commissioning will lead to conflicts of interest.

One of those surveyed said: 'I have not had enough education to make informed choices and am planning to attend extra-curricular seminars, to educate myself.'

Another said: 'I feel we need further training to be able to deal with the changes and to be able to implement the bill properly and effectively.'

Dr Stuart Sutton, a GP registrar in Newham and a London Associate in Training representative who carried out the survey, said: 'The findings show that trainees fear they lack the training to allow them to get involved with commissioning and, the feeling that consortia will only be open to current GP partners and local leaders.

'The future of general practice for those currently in training seem, at best, uncertain. Unless trainees are supported to join consortia boards it is possible that "backfilling" in locum or salaried posts to cover partners seconded to consortia may be the role many will anticipate.'

GP registrars call for commissioning training