Figures released by Pulse reveal the proportion of doctors applying for GP specialty training starting in August 2016 has reached a record low.
Applications for 2016 GP training have declined by 5% on last year indicating disaster for the Government target of delivering 5,000 more GPs by 2020.
Pulse reports in its exclusive figures, “Last year, the first application round of GP training received 5,112 applications for 3,609 places but this only delivered 2,769 trainees in 2015 despite three application rounds and changes to allow failed applicants to reapply.”
Health Education England has the Government-mandated target to recruit 3,250 GP trainees a year by August 2016, a major part of the effort to get 5,000 more GPs by 2020.
This is a major setback as this year HEE and the RCGP launched a major publicity drive to encourage candidates to choose GP training. The RCGP released a video stating there ‘was never a better time to become a GP’ and HEE produced a series of videos showing GPs doing exciting things like signing forms for sky-diving and helping patients run marathons while managing their asthma.
Deputy GPC chair Dr Richard Vautrey was quoted as saying “There are fundamental issues that the whole system has to address in terms of reaching out to medical students and young doctors around general practice. The only way to really tackle that is to address the root cause, which is the workload pressures and lack of funding in general practice itself.”
Dr Maureen Baker, chair of the RCGP, is reported to respond to the figures stating, ”If these figures are correct, it is important not to be discouraged or write off efforts to increase recruitment as unsuccessful. By the end of recruitment last year, the number of places filled had risen overall by nearly 100, so these should very much be seen as interim figures.”

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