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Going undergrad

I’m not sure whether the sun is doing something to my brain, but I am going to be unconditionally positive about the agreement struck between the DH and GPC England around undergraduate placements.

Under the agreement announced last week, GP practices will receive a minimum of £28,000 a year to train undergraduate students. This replaces a system that was all over the place, with different deaneries offering different tariffs, and often below this £28,000 figure. This also brings a measure of parity with secondary care, which has long had a minimum tariff.

The work being done at the start of the pipeline is encouraging

Even taking into account that the majority of practices won’t be taking on undergrads for a whole year, this at least shows that teaching undergrads in general practice is being taken seriously. This might encourage more practices to get involved or expand what they currently do – which energises practices and helps sell the job to students.

I say this quietly, but I can’t really fault the long-term planning being carried out by Health Education England in recent years. Whether that be the new medical schools, increasing incentives for the schools to train GPs, or the record number of graduates entering general practice training. It’s a far cry from their skydiving adverts.

It goes without saying that there is a lot of work left to do on recruitment. But the work being done at the start of the pipeline is encouraging.

I would say it would be nice if GPs were paid the actual costs of training a student – but I promised that I would be wholly positive. So I won’t.

Jaimie Kaffash is editor of Pulse. Follow him on Twitter @jkaffash or email him at

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