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Drop in GP trainees

22 December 2014

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There has been a “significant deterioration” in this year’s GP training crisis claims the British Medical Association (BMA) after data in one area showed that only 40 graduates applied for 148 GP training places.

Reported at the General Practitioners Council (GPC) meeting last week the figures for the North East of England related to the first round of recruitment for GPs within the region.

According to the GPC only 18 applicants are expected to start training in the rolein the region. This is a significant drop in the number of trainees from 2013. On a national scale, GP trainee applications dropped by 15% between 2012 and 2013.

However Health Education England has not published any figures so far and ‘did not recognise’ the data published by the GMC.

Dr Krishna Kasaraneni, chair of the GPC education, training and workforce subcommittee said: “The BMA has been warning for some time that there is a real and serious GP workforce crisis emerging across the country. The figures from the North East highlight this once again, with more than a hundred vacancies for GP trainee positions after round one.

“This is a significant deterioration from last year. This shortage is particularly worrying given that areas in the north have shown signs of being especially badly affected. With fewer GPs in post, this means less trained staff available to provide appointments and other services to patients.”

He added that the GPC was “working urgently with NHS England, Health Education England and the RCGP to tackle this crisis”.