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#GPnews: Reaction to GP training application crisis

17:15 Plus ca change: In researching our GP applications story, Pulse came across this from the Independent: GP trainers warn of doctor shortages – ‘Health crisis: Avalanche of paperwork, poor working conditions and climate of uncertainty blamed for shortfalls in recruitment’. Ok, no surpise in this. But it was from 20 years ago! If only we’d learn…

Anyway, that’s all from us for today. Back tomorrow, with no doubt more reaction to the application figures. 

15:30 Health Education England have now responded to the story. They claim that the story ‘does not paint an accurate picture’ as there are still months to go in the process. They also lauded the success of their round three recruitment last year. However, this only managed to increase the total number of trainees entering general practice by 100 – some way off their target of 3,250 trainees a year. 

15:00 Reaction from the man of the moment, Dr Johann Malawana, chair of the BMA’s Junior Doctors Committee.

Of course, yesterday, Dr Malawana announced that next week’s strike by junior doctors is set to go ahead.

14:50 More on our exclusive on GP training applications going down by 5% – as one Pulse commenter put it:

‘But they made a video, with music and everything. Surely that must have worked?’

It even featured skydiving. True, the GP’s role was simply signing a form, but still…

13:30 Elsewhere, the RCGP have reacted favourably to our story on golden hello schemes. Dr Maureen Baker, RCPG chair, said: ‘This initiative is something that the College has been proposing for some time and we are pleased to see it being implemented. Similar schemes have worked really well for other careers, such as teaching, and we hope it will encourage new GPs to under-doctored areas in the best interests of providing safe care now and in the future, wherever our patients live.’

Not all our commenters agree…

13:19 It is not all bad. The BJGP has just published a list of reasons from several GPs about why general practice is a good career. Surprisingly little mention of filling in sky-diving forms…

13:14 Round-up of reaction to our GP training exclusive below:

13:07 Picture of the day has to be this from our very own Twitter account.

12:18 Just rung the Department of Health about our GP training story, not happy….

12:12 Sorry for the radio silence, we have just been busy breaking a massive story, there has been a 5% reduction in applications for GP training places this year, compared with 2015, according to leaked figures seen by Pulse. This is a big blow as Health Education England and the RCGP have both been involved in a publicity drive to encourage graduates to choose general practice. Other specialties have seen rises of up to 17% in applications. Read the full story here.

11:09 The British Geriatrics Society have criticised the Special LMC Conference for voting for a call to make separate contractual arrangements for care homes. They say: ’We call on the BMA and GPs to ensure that, in protecting the future sustainability of their services, they do not classify care home residents as anything less than full members of society, with the same healthcare entitlements as the rest of us.’ This one looks set to run…

10:12 Just got the GPC’s response to that QOF story. They seem to have got the overarching message from the Special LMC Conference and are rejecting all the new proposals from NICE as general practice is ‘full’. Makes you wonder what on earth NICE’s QOF work is for.

09:59 Our lead this morning is a story about Health Education England’s plan to give over 100 GP trainees a ‘golden hello’ worth £20k to work in areas that are struggling with recruitment. This was a central plank of their ’10-point plan’ to improve the GP workforce. Some doubt over whether it will work though. Read the full story here.

09:30 Good morning. There is not a lot of health news this morning, other than the news about junior doctor negotiations reaching an impasse and a one-day emergency cover only strike next week. But the Telegraph as picked up on a story that NICE has recommended indicators on giving overweight patients lifestyle advice. This has been blown up into a headline of ’GPs should be paid more to put fat patients on a diet, watchdog says’. If you want to read the full suggested indicators, then click here.

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