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Reaction: Pulse’s exclusive on GP training figures

Dr Maureen Baker, chair of the RCGP

‘If these figures are correct, it is important not to be discouraged or write off efforts to increase recruitment as unsuccessful. By the end of recruitment last year, the number of places filled had risen overall by nearly 100, so these should very much be seen as interim figures.

‘However, we will not be complacent and we will continue to champion our profession and work together with NHS England, Health Education and the BMA to do everything possible to ”recruit, retain and return” as many GPs as possible ahead of subsequent recruitment rounds.’

Health Education England

‘The story does not paint an accurate picture as this is very much an on-going recruitment process that still has months left to run.

‘So this is merely speculation as application numbers do not mean fill rate figures. We have shown that we can influence figures with direct action such as the Round three figures from last year.

‘Most importantly this is a system issue and we are continuing to work closely with our partners on a number of elements to increase the number of GPs and make sure we have a skilled, trained and motivated workforce.

‘The final figures on numbers will not be available until this process is complete.

‘Since our establishment in 2013, we have invested more in GP training by increasing the number of posts available. We spend nearly £500 million a year on GP training. We will be working closely with NHS England to provide 5,000 more doctors in general practice by 2020.’

GPC deputy chair Dr Richard Vautrey

‘There are fundamental issues that the whole system has to address in terms of reaching out to medical students and young doctors around general practice. The only way to really tackle that is to address the root cause, which is the workload pressures and lack of funding in general practice itself.

‘Young medical students are bright men and women and can see the evidence for themselves about the pressures in general practice, particularly during their GP placement in training.’