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NHS England director admits GP trainee jobs ‘are not there for them’

NHS England director admits GP trainee jobs ‘are not there for them’

The jobs that newly qualified GPs would want ‘are not there for them’, NHS England’s national director of primary care has admitted.

Dr Amanda Doyle made the comments in a talk on best practices in primary care at the NHS Confederation Expo in Manchester this morning.

She said that NHS England has heard from young GPs who have said ‘we are qualified, we want to take roles in this country, but the sorts of jobs we want aren’t there for us’.

It comes after the BMA warned that thousands of newly qualified GPs could be unemployed this August due to a ‘nearly non-existent’ job market in some areas.

Pulse has reported on several examples of GPs struggling to find work or redundancies in recent months, and the BMA GP Committee for England has recently warned that general practice has moved from a recruitment to an employment crisis.

During the talk, attended by Pulse, Dr Doyle said: ‘[Younger GPs] do want to come and they do want to practice, and we are seeing this year that this has flipped a bit – the noise we are hearing now is “actually the jobs we want aren’t there for us” and “we are qualified, we want to take roles in this country but the sorts of jobs we want aren’t there for us”, and we have to respond to that.’

However, she said that ‘hardly anybody’ qualifying as a GP this year wants to be a partner and that general practice ‘needs to evolve’ to ‘make sure it is attractive for a new generation of clinicians’.

She said: ‘The day I completed training, I became a partner and I stayed as a partner in that practice for 25 years. And it never entered my head that there was another career path that I might want.

‘But hardly anybody who is completing training this year wants that – we have got a different generation and general practice is no different from the whole rest of society or the economy in that the current younger generation want something different, and they want flexibility.

‘They don’t want to be tied down, they want career progression, they want the ability to move, they want the ability to do different things that they see are exciting.’

Recently a Pulse survey of 612 GP partners revealed that there has been a 44% reduction in the number of GP vacancies advertised since the same month in 2022 and GP leaders attributed this reduction in vacancies to a number of factors, including an increase in the ARRS success in hiring staff and a lack of resources.

The inclusion of GPs in ARRS had been a ‘red line’ for GPCE in 2024/25 contract negotiations but NHS England declined the request on the basis that GPs are core, rather than additional workforce in practices.

But this has led to increased competition for the fewer salaried GP vacancies that are available, with some recent job adverts receiving over 40 applications.

The BMA has also demanded that next Government take urgent action to address GP unemployment, in its general election manifesto.

Yesterday, BMA council chair Dr Philip Banfield criticised the Tory manifesto, which focused on cutting taxes, including National Insurance by further 2p.

He said pledges to recruit more doctors and improve access to GP appointments ‘are likely to fall flat’ if the Conservatives ‘don’t address the elephant in the room’, i.e. ‘retaining doctors’.

He said: ‘In general practice, any promises to free-up capacity will be impossible to keep if a future Conservative government maintains its position of refusing to invest in adequately funding general practice, with a contract in England that prevents surgeries from hiring GPs, leaving the absurd situation where many family doctors can’t find work despite people being desperate for GP appointments.’



Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

Scottish GP 12 June, 2024 12:11 pm

How disingenuous, the main reasons young docs do not want partnership are as a direct result of NHSE actions!

Mohammad Adnan 12 June, 2024 2:38 pm

Is this article suggesting that there is an abundance of partnerships but not salaried roles?

John Graham Munro 12 June, 2024 6:09 pm

I’ve always been a G.P——— but never a ”newly qualified” one

David Church 12 June, 2024 8:45 pm

Scottish GP has hit the nail on the head. Mohammad – to join a Partnership at the moment would incur a possibility of an income under £20,000 a year, with the lower limit being well into negative figures – some Partnerships are making losses!
And JGM – are you saying you graduated before the first GP training programmes qualified any GPs, and are STILL working? Wow.

John Graham Munro 12 June, 2024 8:58 pm

David Church——-precisely that

Nick Mann 12 June, 2024 9:41 pm

Disingenuous Doyle; I agree completely with “Scottish GP”. This is not evolution, it’s obliteration.

So the bird flew away 12 June, 2024 10:18 pm

Doyley Cart and her latest gut-busting comic opera NHS Wossitfore!?

Bob Hodges 13 June, 2024 10:01 am

“They don’t want to be tied down, they want career progression, they want the ability to move, they want the ability to do different things that they see are exciting.”

Jesus wept. Lots of people want nice things, and if NHS England think that’s a reasonable expectation then they can pay for it.

However, they will no doubt be expecting GP Partners to continue doing all the ‘non-exciting things’ whilst taking a pay cut to fund the ‘kids’ having the GP equivalent of a perpetual gap-year.

I’d love to do exactly what I want, where and whenever I fancied too.

Centreground Centreground 13 June, 2024 12:54 pm

We are seeing the repeated cycle across the NHS in a significant proportion of all of these titled ‘Director’ ‘chief of service , Lead GP or NHS manager roles who are overseeing this NHS decline , that the ill-suited , primarily status & monetary reward motivated individuals are drifting into these roles across the NHS in an epidemic that seemingly has no cure. We all witness in the majority of instances, the same names constantly re-appearing with these titles.
The repeated illogical comparison of well performing, well funded practices and PCNs which fortunately exist but unfortunately cannot be extrapolated across other practices or PCNs as any degree of basic common sense would dictate. This misconception of uniformity amongst practices still pervades in these upper echelons of management in the NHS and further shown by the current worsening inequalities article in Pulse, a situation significantly exacerbated by PCNS in my opinion.
These levels of higher NHS management, chiefs and directors , report authors with an unenviable prolonged track record of failure still inflict their misery and ongoing catastrophic experimentation of misguided headline pilot schemes more appropriately labelled as diversionary stunts on the population and workforce.
The government has not destroyed the NHS singlehandedly but has required the assistance of NHS leaders, managers and PCN CDs.
A basic understanding of the variability amongst practices and PCNs with the frequent failure of private groups and fragmentation caused by increasing numbers of unrelated HUBs would be a starting point.
The Fuller Fantasy report has some useful points but no more widely applicable than the blindingly obvious measures that GPs on Pulse continually advocate.
Selective known well performing groups or PCNs which are predetermined to more likely succeed in these Pilots will not assist the vast majority of primary care where repeatedly failing organisations such as NHSE try and condense complex systems into simple systems with schoolchild levels of strategic thinking.
Frustratingly, many at ground level see the unfolding mess and would be able to use current resources far much efficiently yet are restricted in doing so and subjected to this wayward leadership again exacerbated by PCNs.
In order to change the NHS for the better, we first need to change our leaders -both local and national for the better.

Peter Jones 13 June, 2024 7:22 pm

Simple solution is to allow funds to be directed to enable practices to employ more GPs, and not non-doctors.
Just do it!

Waseem Jerjes 13 June, 2024 10:40 pm

NHS England is really dropping the ball here. Newly qualified GPs are ready and willing to work, but the jobs they want just aren’t available. Dr. Amanda Doyle’s comments highlight a major issue: young GPs are saying there’s no place for them, and it’s a serious problem. Despite completing their training, they’re finding it tough to get the positions they need, leading to a lot of frustration and potential unemployment. The whole situation shows how badly NHS England is handling GP employment, turning what should be a recruitment opportunity into a crisis.

The Locum 14 June, 2024 10:02 am

My first month in Canada as a GP is exceptional
Average of 18 patients a day.
I see 90 patients a week instead of in 3 days.
I earn considerably more.
I come home at night and want to do things.
Last patient is 1530
Patients say thank you.
I run my clinics when I want
My referrals are accepted.
Hospital doctors prescribe and internally ref.
Time to chat with colleagues over lunch.

If I was doing it again I’d have left UK years ago.
The newly qualified docs should exit on mass.

Robert Caudwell 14 June, 2024 6:37 pm

Make GP partnership so toxic and financially risky no one wants to do it, claim “no one wants to be a partner so we need to change the system”, allow the partnership model to die because “GPs didn’t want it”.