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Record 4,000 trainees started GP training this year, says HEE


GP training


Health Education England (HEE) has met an ambitious target of recruiting 4,000 new GP trainees this year, the largest number in any year to date.

HEE hailed the figure as ‘heart-warming’, while the health secretary said the news was ‘absolutely fantastic’.

However, despite the news, the Government remains on track to fail to fulfil its election pledge for boosting GP numbers.

As of September, there are 8,664 GPs in training grade in GP placements in England, the latest figures from NHS Digital show.

This includes foundation year doctors and locally employed/trust grade doctors and consultants who have chosen to retain as GPs via the ‘Choose GP’ campaign.

Professor Simon Gregory, GP and deputy medical director of primary and integrated care at HEE, said: ‘It has been a challenging 18 months for the profession across the board. As a GP myself it is heart-warming to see so many trainees wanting to become family doctors.

‘The fact that so many people are interested in joining general practice speciality training means we are doing all we can to help provide a sufficient and sustainable workforce.’

Health secretary Sajid Javid said the news of the 4,000 new trainees was ‘absolutely fantastic’.

He said: ‘I want to thank everyone working in primary care, and all those beginning training. A career as a GP is hugely rewarding and we are committed to supporting our dedicated primary care teams.’

It follows Mr Javid admitting earlier this month that the Government will fail to fulfil its election pledge to recruit 6,000 additional full-time equivalent GPs by 2025.

Analysis by the Nuffield Trust also found the Government was set to miss the target.

Data from NHS Digital suggested the 34,726 full-time equivalent (FTE) GPs working in June 2021 indicated a 4.2% rise on the 33,329 figure from June 2020.

But the statistics, published in a monthly format for the first time, were rejected by frontline GPs who insist the primary care workforce is still struggling to cope with long-term staff shortages.

It also comes as co-chair of the Medical Schools Council (MSC) Professor Malcolm Reed said new medical students may be put off general practice due to GP bashing in the media.

And the majority of GPs said they would consider leaving the NHS if the Government does not provide them with the support they need, a BMA survey found in October.

GP trainee recruitment numbers

2014      2,671

2015      2,769

2016      3,019

2017      3,157    3,250 target

2018      3,473    3,250 target

2019      3,540    3,500 target

2020      3,793    3,500 target

2021      4,000    4,000 target

 

Source: HEE

READERS' COMMENTS [7]

Robert Baur 17 November, 2021 3:22 pm

Let’s see if there will be enough GP educators left to train them.

The Prime Minister 17 November, 2021 3:53 pm

THIS WILL MAKE THE GOVERNMENT EVEN MORE COCKY THAN THEY ALREADY ARE…..THE GP TERROR CAMPAIGN WILL RAMP UP EVEN HIGHER…..TROUBLE IS MOST OF THESE TRAINEES WILL EITHER LEAVE THE UK, LEAVE GENERAL PRACTICE OR WORK 1 OR 2 DAYS PER WEEK SO NOTHING WILL CHANGE……

David Oliver 17 November, 2021 5:00 pm

I would love to know how many Trainees take substantive posts at the end I suspect it is falling quickly

John Glasspool 17 November, 2021 7:30 pm

Let’s hope they mostly emigrate.

Turn out The Lights 17 November, 2021 9:02 pm

They still have not put the plug in the bath,probably made the plug bigger.More of the same then.

David jenkins 17 November, 2021 11:43 pm

The Prime Minister

…….work one or two days a week………….

with the tax and pension problems, these young gp’s won’t be able to afford to work more than that !!

Jonathan Heatley 18 November, 2021 7:36 am

what is the gender ratio?