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GP trainees more satisfied with job than other doctors

GP trainees are more satisfied with their training, overall, than their peers in other specialty or foundation training programmes, according to the GMC’s National Training Survey (NTS).

Across all programmes, trainees’ ‘overall satisfaction’ with their training was 81.6%, while the GMC told Pulse that GP trainees – across hospital and practice placements – reported an overall satisfaction of 84.2%.

The survey also found that, across all programmes, almost half of trainees (43.2% ) reported their workload intensity as ‘heavy or very heavy’, and most said their training environment was supportive (89% ) and said clinical supervision was good or excellent (84.6%)

The results provide a breakdown by local deanery level across a range of standards including workload, clinical support and whether their programme provided adequate experience of the role.

The National Training Survey also asked GP trainers for their views on training. They rated the levels of support they receive in their role the best of any specialty and also said their role was well recognised in appraisals.

But GP trainers were the least likely to strongly agree that they had a comprehensive understanding of the curriculum, 60%, compared to 81% of doctors in specialty training, and 62% of foundation trainers.

GMC chief executive Niall Dickson said the results confirm doctors are working in ‘often difficult circumstances’ and that training is ‘under significant pressure’.

He added: ‘We now expect local organisations to scrutinise the data that applies to them, and to identify and take prompt action to address any specific local concerns.

‘At the same time, we will analyse the results and consider broader issues raised by doctors in training, including how well supported and supervised they feel, and the effectiveness of local reporting systems when issues arise.’

The differences in satisfaction could have been impacted by the Jeremy Hunt’s ongoing conflict with junior doctors over plans to impose a contract extending routine working hours in the evenings and on Saturdays.