LMCs call for national training scheme for GP trainers

A standard national scheme to train the next generation of GP trainers is urgently needed to arrest declining numbers of young GPs choosing this path, LMCs have said.

Dr Kestin: too few young GPs becoming trainers (Photo: Pete Hill)
Dr Kestin: too few young GPs becoming trainers (Photo: Pete Hill)

GP leaders said the UK needed a standardised, national training programme for GP trainers that is easily-accessible and flexible enough to support practices to become training practices.

LMCs voted in favour of a motion calling for this national approach at the UK LMC conference in York last week.

Dr Kathy Kestin from Norfolk and Waveney LMC said general practice was in the midst of a ‘demographic crisis’, with too few young GPs choosing to become trainers.

She said: ‘We need to create more GP trainer posts and encourage more young GPs to become trainers. I believe one way forward is to make GP trainer posts more attractive by reducing bureaucracy in their training and proper resourcing.’

But Dr Krishna Kasaraneni, chair of the GP trainees’ subcommittee of the GPC, urged delegates to vote against the motion. ‘We know what this will mean. It will become a national box-ticking exercise that will become the minimum standard that is required. It will become a stick to beat the trainers with, rather than a carrot to promote training.’

But the majority of GPs at the conference disagreed with his fears and supported the motion. Dr Kestin replied: ‘I think we just have to be pragmatic. In times of difficulty and shortage we need to encourage trainers to come and train, and support practices.’

Representatives also voted for GP careers to be encouraged from year one of medical training, and for the proposed fourth year of general practice training to include more practical experience for trainees.

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