Transfer of deanery functions could undermine training

Plans to transfer deanery functions to networks of local providers are a 'recipe for chaos and disaster' in medical education, the GPC deputy chairman has warned.

Dr Vautrey: DoH plans could have a ‘massive impact’ on national standards of medical training and GP training
Dr Vautrey: DoH plans could have a ‘massive impact’ on national standards of medical training and GP training

Dr Richard Vautrey said the committee was ‘very concerned’ the plans could see training dominated by large providers.

The GMC has raised similar concerns, warning that employers are not best placed to handle training because of the pressures they face from their service commitments.

Dr Vautrey said DoH proposals set out in a consultation late last year would have a ‘massive impact’ on national standards of medical training and GP training.

He said the networks could be dominated by large teaching hospitals, leaving training practices struggling to be heard. He said: ‘The emphasis may move from training quality to filling hospitals’ service needs.’

Dr Ben Molyneux, deputy chairman of the BMA’s junior doctors committee said he was concerned that the model is 'untested'.

‘We are worried that there is not the governance in place to protect trainees’ interests over next year or two,’ he said.

In an initial response to the DoH proposals, GMC chief executive Niall Dickson raised concerns about handing deanery functions to employers.

‘Under the current proposals the deaneries appear to be going,’ he said. ‘There is talk about retaining deanery functions but we need clarity about what that means.

‘We believe that simply handing this over to employers is not an answer because they have understandable pressures on them in terms of service commitments.’

GMC chairman Dr Peter Rubin said the GMC would like to see ‘local education champions’ appointed to be accountable to the GMC for the quality of education and training of local doctors.

Mr Dickson warned that medical education could become an ‘afterthought’ during the NHS reforms.
‘I do not underestimate the challenge here or the need for effective leadership from the profession, from employers and from us,’ he said.

'Without that leadership nationally and locally it is possible that medical education - indeed professional education more widely - will become an afterthought.’

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