GPs and trainees tell LMCs their unemployment fears

GPs and trainees at the LMCs' conference have added their voices to the crescendo of concern that doctors emerging from GP training are now facing widespread unemployment due to poor workforce planning.

They called on the DoH to introduce a workforce review immediately and urged deaneries to create new posts for newly qualified GPs as well as calling on out-of-hours providers to do their bit to employ the GPs coming out of training.

Dr Alex Smallwood, a sessional GP, said unemployment is increasing dramatically.

‘We need to highlight to the profession the problems faced by newly qualified GPs.

Inaction now will irrevocably damage our profession,' he said.

Dr Andrew Perry, from the GP trainees' subcommittee, explained he is emigrating to Australia for a year, where it took just three weeks to find to work as a GP.

‘Why? It's partly the poor workforce planning, contracting and funding that are driving market forces in general practice. But it's mainly the week on week scouring of job ads locally and nationally that is taking its toll on me and my colleagues.

‘Most of us want to be partners. Strong partnerships integrating the new blood of young GPs is the only way that general practice as we know and love it will survive.'

Dr Katie Bramall, a GP trainee, added her voice as a maiden speaker to explain the ‘stark reality' of what young GPs are now facing. As a trainee about to complete her training in London, she says her prospects are bleak.

‘There is such a surplus that only people with post-CCT experience will even get shortlisted.' As an NQ trainee, her application will go straight into the bin, she said.

‘We must protect our future,' she implored. ‘In the current buyers' market, sessionals and salaried GPs are being abused. They feel disenfranchised, isolated and rejected by their own profession. Don't force these motivated hardworking individuals into working into polyclinics or working for APMS. Keep them in the family.'

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