This Pulse video looks into what training capacity will be necessary to fulfil the Government’s workforce commitments
The Government has committed to a 50% increase in GP training places, as well as an increase in medical students and the amount of time trainees spend in general practice.
Currently, GP trainers provide support and education for three medical cohorts – students, foundation doctors, and GP specialty trainees. They can be clinical or educational supervisors, which includes supervising surgeries, one-to-one tutorials and validating paperwork.
Medical students join general practice for short stints, as part of a rotation across primary, secondary, or community settings. The time they spend in general practice varies across the different medical schools, but it’s usually between two and four months spread across a five-year degree.
The plan commits to doubling the number of medical school places in England, from 7,500 now to 15,000 by 2031.
Although there is no suggestion in the plan about increasing students’ exposure to general practice, in the past few years there have been moves to make medical schools more GP-friendly, including incentivising new medical schools to encourage students to enter the profession.
For those who go on to do their foundation training, just over half of them will complete a four-month GP placement in their second year.
While no specific number of foundation places is given, the plan says growth will be ‘commensurate’ with medical school increases.
The plan also commits to all foundation year doctors doing at least one four-month placement in general practice by 2030 – up from the 55% who do so currently.
GP specialty training
NHS England pledged to increase specialty training places by 50%, from 4,000 to 6,000 by 2031, with the first 500 new places available in September 2025.
For more on this, read our full analysis.