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Warning on break-up of GP training

By Gareth Iacobucci

Plans by NHS bosses to break up the organisation of GP specialist training risk 'fragmenting' the way GPs are trained, and could divert resources away from primary care towards the acute sector, GP leaders have warned.

NHS London plans to introduce a purchaser-provider separation in GP specialist training, allowing training to be commissioned from alterative sources.

But Dr Michelle Drage, joint chief executive of Londonwide LMCs, said the plan could cause huge damage to GP training.

‘This risks fragmentation of the education and training programmes for our GPs. It might affect the way they are trained and the jobs they are able to go for.

‘The risk is of vertical integration, with GP training being switched from what is good training for a GP, to what is good for the market in the NHS as Foundation Trusts would see it. That would be an anathema to us.'

Dr Drage said she would be seeking urgent talks with the new health minister to try and force NHS London to reconsider it plans.

‘I hope we can enter into discussion with whoever is the new minister, to explain what's going on and help them re-jig NHS London policy.'

A spokesperson for the London Deanery responsible for postgraduate medical and dental training in London said: ‘The aim of developing the separation between commissioning and providing of postgraduate training is to significantly enhance the quality of training and of the service.'

Dr Michelle Drage