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HEE on track to meet August target of 4k new GP trainees

GP HEE

Almost all GP specialty training places have been filled in round one of recruitment this year, figures from Health Education England (HEE) show.

The fill rate for GP posts so far this year is 99.95% up from 98.85% after round one last year, HEE said.

Round two opens at the end of July with the Government committing to 4,000 GP training places.

More doctors than ever applied for NHS speciality training posts with a rise in the number of posts and applicants for a fifth year in a row with an overall fill rate for speciality posts starting in August of 99.7%, HEE said.

Pulse reported in May that GP practices in the North East and North Cumbria had been offered £10,000 to take on new trainees, amid a shortage of available posts.

It comes as the Health Foundation warned of a shortage of the equivalent of 20,400 full time GPs in England by 2030 with NHS Digital data also showing a fall of 372 full-time equivalent fully trained GPs last year.

Professor Simon Gregory, HEE medical director, primary and integrated care, said: ‘I am pleased to see that so many doctors are continuing to see the value and flexibility of a career in primary care and accepting their offer on GP training programmes across England.

‘These figures show we are progressing well towards the 2022 Government commitment, to accept another 4,000 GP trainees into training placements.

‘We have met or exceeded annual GP training targets every year since 2018 and through the national Choose GP campaign, HEE is promoting the benefits of a career as a GP to foundation year doctors as well as trust grade doctors and consultants who want to retrain as a GP.’

In response to the Health Foundation workforce figures, Dr Samira Anane, BMA GP committee workforce policy lead, said: ‘This bleak yet sadly not unrealistic forecast shows how devastating it would be for patients and the wider health of communities if we continue to lose GPs at the rate we are now, with millions more patients losing access to “their family doctor” and practices being forced to close.

‘In the most recent year we’ve lost the equivalent of more than 370 full-time fully-qualified GPs in England, 116 of which were in the last month alone.’

She added: ‘Clearly as demand goes up and workforce goes down, this is completely unsustainable. We need significantly more GPs, not less.’

READERS' COMMENTS [1]

John Glasspool 2 July, 2022 7:43 pm

How many will stay? If I were starting now I’d finish my training and then emigrate.