All GP vocational training scheme places now filled

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

CMO Sir Liam Donaldson
CMO Sir Liam Donaldson

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.

Some 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 DoH’s 1000 transition posts is in doubt, however, as strategic health authorities will have to fund two additional years training to create a full registrar post.

The GP National Recruitment Office’s 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.

Rates of applicants turning down their offer of a GP registrar post have run at 2.7 per cent, compared with declines of 17 per cent where the first-choice filtering system was not used.

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

The 500-600 doctors on the NRO’s reserve list who failed to get a training job in round one but 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.

National recruitment officer at the NRO Gai Evans said ‘It was handled centrally at a national office by someone who understands recruitment issues.

‘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 on their performance to write directly to the deanery where they attended the selection centre.

Feedback on successful applicants will go into their personal development plan.

Last month the BMA called for the immediate resignation of CMO Sir Liam Donaldson over issues including MTAS.

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