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GPs ability to ‘make do’ is not a solution to lack of funding, Hancock warned

GPs resilience and ability to ‘make do’ is not a sustainable solution to funding that does not meet their needs, the RCGP chair Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard has warned. 

In a letter to health secretary Matt Hancock, Professor Stokes-Lampard said ‘primary care has been overlooked’ in the Government’s new guidance on NHS training tariffs

However, this is not the first time that the RCGP has written to the health secretary to increase funding for GP training.

Last year, the RCGP and BMA wrote to Hancock’s predecessor demanding ‘fair’ funding for GP undergraduate training placements.

Professor Stokes-Lampard also stressed the importance of clinical placements for the future GP workforce.

In a document published by Health Education England proposing changes to currencies for education and training placements, HEE acknowledged the concerns that the cost of hosting primary care placements was ‘currently lower than those paid for secondary care placements’.

It proposed that the scope of the tariff be ‘widened’ to cover placements in both primary and secondary care.

Professor Stokes-Lampard said: ‘One of the essential solutions to the sustainability of the NHS is to provide adequate resources for teaching in general practice.

‘Now is the time to ensure this as a part of the DHSC budget in the spending review.’

Last year the RCGP published a report, highlighting the need for clinical placements and revealed that 91% of medical students believed their peers have negative views about general practice.

In North Wales, around half of eligible applicants were turned away from two GP training schemes in the past two years.

Meanwhile, the BMA recently announced that HEE will fund personal indemnity cover for all GP trainees from April.