Exclusive: DoH to scrap and replace GP training grant

The training grant is to be scrapped and replaced with a new tariff-based system for funding GP trainers.

At present, the UK's 2,000 training practices receive an annual grant for taking on a trainee. This is currently valued at £7,485 and has tended to increase by around 2 per cent a year.

But the DoH is now working with the RCGP to review the GP training programme and the way it is funded. A spokesman said the outcome will be 'a new tariff-based system where funding follows the student or trainee'.

He added that the proposals will contain 'significant changes', and will require transitional arrangements for those practices that lose out.

There are fears that the change could cut the grants attached to more experienced trainees, on the grounds that they effectively provide an extra staff member for relatively little supervision.

The GPC is not involved in the current review, but has been calling for the DoH to set up a body outside the Doctors' and Dentists' Review Body (DDRB) to consider GP trainers' needs.

Dr Beth McCarron-Nash, the trainer lead on the GPC, said: 'Changes in funding structures don't tend to mean a pay rise, but we can live in hope.'

In its evidence to this year's pay review, the GPC called for a substantial rise in the trainer's grant, to reflect growing workload and expenses.

But the DoH has asked the DDRB to limit the increase in the grant, so as not to pre-empt the funding review.

jonn.elledge@haymarket.com

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