All GP training posts filled first time

All places for general practice vocational training schemes starting in August have been filled in round one of the recruitment process.

The 100 per cent fill rate means that the hundreds of would-be GP registrars who have not yet found a training place will now have to compete for a small number of newly created posts in the East Midlands.

These 1,000 one-year GP 'transition' posts were created last week by the DoH in an apparent attempt to offer all appointable applicants a job.

The future of the transition posts was in doubt last week, however, because SHAs will have to fund two additional years' training to create a full registrar post.

The GP National Recruitment Office's (NRO) controversial policy of offering first places to appointable applicants who gave general practice as their first-choice specialty paid off as they became the first specialty to fill all of their training posts.

Fill rates for training in obstetrics and gynaecology only reached 74 per cent and in surgery 79 per cent, figures released last week by the DoH revealed.

The proportion of applicants who turned down the offer of a GP registrar post was 2.7 per cent, compared with 17 per cent where the first-choice filtering system was not used.

The NRO also boosted its acceptance rate by making offers to linked applications, usually from partners wishing to train in the same geographical area.

The 500 to 600 doctors on the NRO's reserve list who failed to secure a training job in round one but who were considered appointable will have to apply again from scratch for one of the handful of round two posts or a transition post. These posts will be advertised from September and the posts will start on 1 December.

GP recruitment has weathered this year's Medical Training and Applications Service (MTAS) storm almost unscathed.

Last month the BMA called for the resignation of CMO for England Sir Liam Donaldson over poor handling of changes to regulation, medical education and MTAS.

National recruitment officer at the NRO Gai Evans said GP posts were 'handled centrally at a national office by someone who understands recruitment.

'The current feeling is that we will go it alone in 2008 and will not go with MTAS at all.'

The NRO is advising failed applicants who want feedback to write directly to the deanery where they attended the selection centre. Feedback on successful applicants will go into their personal development plan.

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