Huge rise in GP trainee applications after #nothinggeneral ad campaign

Applications for GP training posts in 2015 have risen almost 600% compared with the same period last year following the launch of a recruitment campaign.

Health Education England (HEE) chief executive Professor Ian Cumming told MPs this year's third round of recruitment for GP training posts had seen 676 people apply so far, compared to around 100 in 2014.

Describing the recent 'nothing general about general practice' marketing campaign - launched to coincide with the recruitment round - as 'controversial' among some, Professor Cumming said: 'We have seen 676 people apply for round three training.

'Whether or not there is a direct link, we don't know yet.' But he added that the increase was 'very, very significant'.

Map: GP trainee vacancies

Professor Cumming told MPs that despite perceptions there had not been a decrease in GP trainees in recent years. Rather, applications had flatlined while training places had increased, leading to a falling fill rate. Also, he added, some regions had seen falling trainee numbers as doctors moved to fill increased places in London and south-east England.

One in five GP trainee posts were vacant after two rounds of recruitment this year. And in 2014, 12% of places went unfilled. Just 72 out of 451 vacant training places were filled when HEE opened an unprecendented third recruitment round last year.

The #nothinggeneral campaign attracted criticism from some GPs on social media when the first video focused on a GP signing a consent form for a cancer patient who wanted to skydive. Subsequent films have featured child mental health, sports injuries, and asthma.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Just published

Young doctor

BMA poll could see 'demeaning' junior doctor title ditched

The BMA could drop the term 'junior doctor' in favour of 'resident doctor' to better...

Houses of parliament

Tory peer calls PA fears 'Luddism' and claims most GP visits 'incredibly straightforward'

Most GP appointments are 'incredibly straightforward' and fears over a wider role...

UK money

NHS pension contribution overhaul to go ahead from April

Changes to NHS pension contribution rates, which will see the top earners required...

BMA sign

BMA warns £800m lost from GP contract since 2019 as last-ditch talks continue

BMA negotiators remain in talks over an improved GP contract offer for 2024/25 just...

GP consultation

GPs still under pressure to prescribe black triangle drug inclisiran

GPs are continuing to face pressure to prescribe the black triangle drug inclisiran...

BMA chair Professor Phil Banfield

Lords urged to block legislation for GMC to regulate PAs

The BMA has urged peers to block legislation that would make the GMC responsible...