Plans to cut jobs at Health Education England could impact GP recruitment, campaigners warn

Campaigners have warned that a consultation by Health Education England (HEE) to cut two fifths of jobs in the London region could 'undermine' the recruitment and training of new doctors.

HEE is consulting on plans to cut 41% of its staff across London and the South East from March 2017.

A petition launched against the cuts – which has amassed over 350 signatures out of a target 400 as of publication – warns that the proposals come at a time of ‘national crisis in the recruitment and training of doctors’.

The decision to reduce its workforce could have dire consequences on the recruitment of further doctors, campaigners behind the petition added.

Recruitment of GP trainees has particularly floundered in recent years – repeatedly falling short of targets – although recent figures suggest this trend may be coming to an end.

Job cuts

HEE said that the plans will not impact on patient safety or undermine recruitment of doctors, adding that the move was simply to make services more efficient.

The campaigners said: ‘We believe this represents a denigration of the service for trainee doctors and dentists, and as a consequence a real threat to the NHS and to patient safety. At a time when recruitment of doctors is already suffering due to the government’s health policies, the last thing we need is to undermine it further.

‘These cuts should be stopped completely until the new systems and working patterns have been tested so that informed proposals for safe staffing levels can be made.’

A HEE spokeswoman said: ‘We are currently undertaking a staff consultation on the reorganisation of the administrative function in London and South East.

‘This is very much about effective administration and will not impact in any way on patient safety or undermine recruitment of doctors.

‘We regularly check to ensure that the services that we provide are as efficient as possible, and offer good value for money, whilst continuing to deliver the very highest standards of patient care.’

The petition warned that other HEE areas could also face cuts, but HEE did not confirm whether this was the case.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Two people interviewing a candidate

GP training: Preparing for an interview

GP trainer and partner Dr Pipin Singh provides advice to GP registrars approaching...

Professor Martin Marshall

Delay COVID jab mandate or GP practices could lose one in 10 staff, warns RCGP chair

The mandatory COVID-19 vaccine deadline for NHS staff should be delayed amid indications...

FFP3 mask

Call for rapid rollout of RPE to GPs after infection advice update

Doctors have called for rapid rollout of respiratory protective equipment (RPE) to...

Vaccination tracker

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

GPs across the UK are playing a leading role in the largest-ever NHS vaccination...

'What lies behind' exhibition

Social prescribing patients curate art exhibition at leading Cornish gallery

Patients from a GP surgery in Cornwall have curated an art exhibition at a leading...

Beccy Baird, senior fellow, King's Fund

PCNs need more support to recruit and integrate additional roles staff

General practice and PCNs need more support to integrate additional roles staff into...