One in four GP trainees forced to work 'beyond their competence'

More than a quarter of GP trainees say they have been forced to cope with clinical problems beyond their competence, GMC data reveal.

According to initial findings from the GMC’s national training survey 2018, 28% of around 70 GP trainees who responded to questions on clinical supervision said they had had to deal with situations that were beyond their competence.

A smaller proportion of GP trainees - 7% of respondents - reported being supervised by someone they felt was not competent to do so.

Health Education England (HEE) said in a statement: ‘HEE recognises the issues that the latest GMC national training survey raises. We know that being a junior doctor is rewarding, but it is also challenging, and can be more stressful when there is poor rota planning or lack of support.’

GPonline analysis of the GMC data also found concerns among GP trainees and F2 doctors working in out-of-hours services about supervision and working beyond their competence.

GP training

RCGP chair Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard told GPonline that overall there was 'a clear indication that overall results for 2018 are actually better than last year' from the GMC training survey.

She said: ‘However, our current foundation doctors are arguably under greater pressure than ever before, and we need to ensure that they are properly supported in all aspects of their training, including out-of-hours, and beyond.’

In total, more than 70,000 doctors in training and doctors who act as trainers took part in the GMC survey, which found that one in four medical trainees are suffering from burnout.

‘Training must be protected and it must be safe, and employers need to address this urgently,’ said GMC chief executive Charlie Massey, adding: ‘We can put off no longer the need to give doctors in training – who make up a fifth of all doctors – the resources they need and deserve’.

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