Medical Education England has backed calls for extended four-year GP training in what has been described as a “momentous day for the entire medical profession”.
The decision comes after the body’s Medical Programme Board (MPB) agreed the Royal College of GPs (RCGP) put forward a “good educational case” for an extra year GP training – taking it from a three-year to a four-year course.
The next stage of deliberation will take place between the RCGP and Professor David Sowden, Director of Medical Education England at the Department of Health and Co-Chair of the MPB.
Issues such as the economic case and affordability as well as wider implementation are set to be discussed between the parties at this point.
“We are absolutely thrilled that our educational case for extending and enhancing GP training has been accepted,” said Dr Gerada.
“This is a momentous day, not just for general practice, but for the entire medical profession and, most importantly, for our patients. It is the beginning of a long road that will see general practice training evolve to meet the changes that are already taking place in our practices and communities.
“I want to reiterate what I have said before: this is not a criticism of current training, or of existing and recently-qualified trainees. It is recognition that the needs of our patients and the communities we serve are changing, and for us to be able to meet these changes head on, we must make these positive steps forward.”
Dr Gerada said the move by Medical Education England’s MPB will ensure the “future-proofing” of general practice “for generations to come”.