GP trainee recruitment hampered by lack of future workforce clarity

Lack of consensus over the future size of the workforce is undermining efforts to train more GPs, Health Education England (HEE) has said.

GP trainees: lack of clarity over workforce demand (Photo: JH Lancy)
GP trainees: lack of clarity over workforce demand (Photo: JH Lancy)

In its submission to the Doctors and Dentists Review Body (DDRB), which advises the government on doctors' pay, HEE said GP registrars are already paid more than hospital equivalents in order to increase recruitment but that ‘pay is only part of the strategy’.

The report added that while measures to increase supply through higher pay were reasonable, those efforts were hampered by the lack of consensus over the future shape and size of the GP and wider primary care workforce.

‘We must quickly move to a position where the training we are commissioning is validated by reference to a transparent perspective of future need,' it said.

There was, it added, a lack of ‘compelling narrative on the future demand for GPs’.

HEE noted the forecast of the recent Centre for Workforce Intelligence study that if the target for 3,250 training places a year by 2016 were reached, it would sustain moderate annual growth to the GP workforce.

Call for 8,000 more GPs

The RCGP has repeatedly called for 8,000 new GPs in England by 2020, a target the Labour party has committed to. The government has said it will increase the workforce by 5,000.

An unprecedented ‘desperate’ third round of recruitment this year added just 72 extra trainees for 2014, bringing the total to just 2,688 for 3,067 available posts.

The government has required HEE to ensure 50% of medical students go into GP training. 

HEE said in its DDRB submission that Local Education Training Boards are proposing to recruit an additional 222 new GP trainees compared to the number they would have recruited if no expansion were planned.

Responding to a DH DDRB response earlier this month GPC chairman Dr Richard Vautrey said the government had responded to the NHS funding crisis by cutting GP pay and that was ‘seriously impacting on GP recruitment’. DDRB should help address that ‘through a fair award to GPs’, he said. 

* Are you looking for GP Jobs?

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

NHS England pledges £30m for GPs to boost long COVID diagnosis and care

NHS England pledges £30m for GPs to boost long COVID diagnosis and care

NHS England has promised £30m for general practice to improve diagnosis and care...

Second dose COVID jabs for over-40s to be accelerated as lifting restrictions is delayed

Second dose COVID jabs for over-40s to be accelerated as lifting restrictions is delayed

Second doses of COVID-19 vaccines in England will be 'accelerated' for all over-40s...

No response from NHS England one month on from BMA no confidence vote

No response from NHS England one month on from BMA no confidence vote

NHS England has yet to provide a formal response almost a month after the BMA GP...

BMA backs negligence action against GMC and hospital over doctor's suicide

BMA backs negligence action against GMC and hospital over doctor's suicide

The BMA is supporting legal action over alleged negligence and under the Human Rights...

GPs recognised in Queen's birthday honours

GPs recognised in Queen's birthday honours

GPs are among those who have been recognised in the Queen's birthday honours.

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

GPs across the UK are playing a leading role in the largest-ever NHS vaccination...