Delegates at the LMC conference 2017 backed calls for GP training to be geared more towards preparing trainees to become GP partners and principals.
They demanded that GP training schemes should be extended to ‘at least four years’, with a minimum of 24 months spent within general practice – and called for all foundation programmes to include mandatory time in general practice.
Bedfordshire LMC’s Dr Sahadev Swain said it was important for training to take on a greater slant towards preparing trainees to become partners and the future ‘leaders of general practice’.
GPC policy lead Dr Gavin Ralston also supported the move as a ‘reasonable’ direction to take for training.
However, Cambridgeshire LMC's Dr Rebecca Schofield was among speakers against the call. ‘GP registrars are entering at a really challenging time and also a time of change. I believe this should be valued,’ she said.
‘More GPs are making positive choices to work in salaried and locum roles to develop their skills and thrive in general practice. We need GPs to make a positive choice, not to be pushed.’
The motion also called for incentives to be put in place to encourage practices to accept and support foundation year one and two posts – and for the GPC to campaign towards seeing examination fees cut.
Proposing the motion to increase training time, Dr Tom Micklewright from the GPC GP trainee committee said: ‘Over 90% of patient contact happens through general practice – but some medical students spend as little as three weeks in general practice out of a five- to six-year medicine degree.’
Time spent in general practice must be increased, he added – especially considering there is a strong correlation between time spent in training and likelihood of opting for GP careers.
Dr Kate Baker from Bro Taf LMC said it was ‘ridiculous’ that junior doctors are not given much exposure to general practice.
‘If you had more exposure, then those that remain in hospital will understand us better – they’ll have been there, they’ll know what we’re doing.
‘And those that are exposed to general practice would realise what a fabulous career it is.’
LMCs also supported greater investment in medical school placements in general practice, and insisted that all foundation programmes include dedicated GP placements.
A further motion called for GP trainee portfolios and appraisal toolkits to be kept confidential and protected from use in litigation in the future, following a case last year where this happened against a paediatric trainee.