Third round of GP trainee recruitment as uptake of posts remains low

Health Education England (HEE) will hold a third round of GP trainee recruitment for the second year running in an attempt to boost uptake of available posts across the country.

GP trainee: posts left vacant (Photo: iStock)
GP trainee: posts left vacant (Photo: iStock)

Prospective trainees will be able to apply for GP posts in a third application phase this year, as HEE said it ‘made sense’ to run the scheme again following its success at ‘increasing the numbers of doctors in general practice’ last year.

GPonline revealed that last year’s scheme - the first time a third round of GP trainee recruitment had been required - cost £113,000 to fill just 72 out of the 451 posts left open after rounds one and two.

The announcement comes as HEE confirmed it would not release its finalised figures on fill rate across the first two recruitment rounds of 2015 until later in the year, despite these already being pushed back from their usual May release.

HEE was scheduled to discuss GP trainee uptake for the year so far at a board meeting on Wednesday, but withdrew published data at the last minute due to ‘a number of issues’ and inaccuracies.

More: latest jobs from GP Jobs

Finalised data on fill rate across all three recruitment rounds will not be released until the third round has been completed later this year, although HEE said it could not confirm the exact date as of yet.

Last year’s third round opened on 2 September and ran for two weeks. First offers were sent out in October and HEE published the uptake figures in November.

Official figures revealed earlier this month by Health Education for Scotland suggested that just 80% of training posts were filled across the UK after the first two rounds of recruitment, a drop from last year’s uptake of 86% after two rounds.

The fall in uptake suggests HEE has an uphill battle to achieve its government-mandated requirement of getting the number of GP trainees up to 3,250 by 2016. In 2014, 2,688 trainees opted for a post in general practice.

5,000 GP promise

Despite health secretary Jeremy Hunt recently back-pedalling on his pre-election promise of securing 5,000 new GPs by 2020, a HEE spokeswoman said it was committed to achieving this.

‘Since its establishment in 2013, HEE has invested more in GP training by increasing the number of posts available,’ she said.

‘We spend nearly £500m a year on GP training. We will be providing 5,000 more doctors in general practice by 2020 and we are working with partners on a range of initiatives to support this.

‘We held a third round of recruitment last year, helping us to fill more posts, and it makes sense to do this again to help increase the numbers of doctors in general practice and further improve services for patients.’

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

GP workload fears over antibody testing rollout for 'no clinical benefit'

GP workload fears over antibody testing rollout for 'no clinical benefit'

GP practices are being contacted by patients asking for antibody tests as the government...

Top GP spells out actions to protect BAME staff after PHE review fails to offer solutions

Top GP spells out actions to protect BAME staff after PHE review fails to offer solutions

The BMA's top GP has spelled out the advice and support practices need to protect...

GP time per patient slumps to lowest level in half a decade

GP time per patient slumps to lowest level in half a decade

GP time available per patient has dropped by six and a half minutes since 2015 -...

An uncompromising defender of the NHS: colleagues remember Dr Ron Singer

An uncompromising defender of the NHS: colleagues remember Dr Ron Singer

Colleagues and friends have paid tribute after the death of East London GP Dr Ron...

COVID-19 death rate highest among BAME groups, delayed PHE review confirms

COVID-19 death rate highest among BAME groups, delayed PHE review confirms

Death rates from COVID-19 are highest among patients from BAME groups, according...

GPs face hundreds of complaints over shielding and PPE during pandemic

GPs face hundreds of complaints over shielding and PPE during pandemic

GP practices have faced hundreds of complaints over issues including shielding and...