GP trainee recruitment improving but parts of England continue to struggle

Parts of England are still struggling to fill GP training posts for 2016 despite indicative figures suggesting that overall national recruitment levels have improved since last year.

Nationally, the number of GP trainee posts filled after the first recruitment round for 2016 surpassed the total number filled in 2015, according to data published earlier this year.

But with one recruitment round now remaining for 2016, wide variations in uptake of GP training posts between English regions have continued.

Many areas have already recruited numbers of GP trainees close to or greater than their total for 2016, interim data suggest.

In London, 99% of GP trainee posts have been filled and in Thames Valley no vacancies remain - matching their uptake for 2015. The East Midlands, which was left with nearly a third of its available GP training posts vacant after recruitment finished last year, has seen a sharp turnaround in 2016 with 87% of posts now filled.

GP training

But some areas continue to lag significantly behind. The North East deanery has filled just over half (54%) of its overall places for 2016 to date. In 2015 the region struggled more than any other to fill GP training posts, with more than a third remaining vacant.

Yorkshire and the Humber deanery is also trailing behind its 2015 fill rate, with around 67% filled so far compare to a 90% fill rate last year.

In contrast, the East of England, Thames Valley, London and Kent, Surrey and Sussex all have over 90% of posts filled.

The RCGP earlier this year hailed a ‘turning tide’ for GP trainee recruitment as early data showed a spike in uptake.

The latest figures come as NHS Education for Scotland released official data for Scotland, which show that the proportion of GP places filled has dropped slightly compared to this time last year.

A Health Education England spokeswoman stressed the latest vacancy figures are indicative only.

Photo: iStock

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