GPC rejects guidance calling for extended GP training

The GPC has is 'very concerned' by draft guidance published by the Committee of General Practice Education Directors (COGPED) which calls for GP training to be extended by four years.

Dr Buckman: ‘The proposals fail to make clear what the educational benefit (of four year training) is for trainees’

Despite backing extended GP training, chairman of the GPC Dr Laurence Buckman, said the committee ‘does not like’ the proposals made by COGPED.

Dr Buckman said: ‘The proposals fail to make clear what the educational benefit (of four year training) is for trainees’.

The GPC warned that proposals to leave the MRCGP exam until the end of the third year of training could create a ‘sub GP grade' which could undercut sessional GPs and leave practices out of pocket.

‘Practices would get a fully qualified GP for at least six months for significantly cheaper than employing a salaried GP,’ Dr Buckman said.

He warned that the proposals would also mean that GP trainers would be forced to take on an additional GP without a trainers grant.

‘We think these proposals are bad for trainees – who will be given an extra year of ‘training that wont be. Bad for trainers who will loose their training grant and it’s not clear what will happen to these trained GPs in educational terms,’ Dr Buckman said.

‘It’s also bad for sessional doctors whose jobs these GPs will undercut,’ he added.

The RCGP also responded to COGPED proposals. The college said:

'The RCGP is working closely with  the GPC, COGPED  and a number of organisations to make the educational case, as well as a high level economic argument, to ensure that we present the strongest case possible to Medical Education England.  

'We are all working incredibly hard to get the bid ready to present to the DH later this spring. COGPED and the GPC are both represented on the College working group that is preparing the education case. COGPED put forward its paper in this capacity.  The paper has not  been formally discussed by the College.

We will be setting up a working group specifically to look at implementation and costings and how the extra year can be funded. The GPC and COGPED will be invited to be part of this group and a number of options will be considered before a final decision is reached. Educational supervision throughout GP training is absolutely crucial and will be appropriately remunerated through the trainers' grant.

'The content of the fourth year is still being considered and we are very grateful to have the support of the GPC, COGPED and others in making our case for extended training. It is imperative that we reach a mutually acceptable conclusion for the long-term benefit of the profession and patients alike.'

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