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21.07.20

GP trainee recruitment numbers rise for third consecutive year

According to new figures by Health Education England (HEE), GP trainee recruitment numbers have risen for the third year running, up a record 15% compared to the same point last year.

The figures represent a new 3,441 acceptances onto GP specialty training in 2020, compared to 2,891 at the same point in 2019. With one more round of recruitment still to go, HEE is on track to beat its target for recruiting 3,500 doctors in training to general practice this year.

NHS England and HEE have been working closely with general practice to increase its workforce in England, including carrying out measures to boost recruitment, address reasons for doctors leaving the profession and encouraging them to return to practice.

The efforts fit into the UK government’s wider commitment to grow the workforce by 6,000 more doctors, as well as thousands of additional physiotherapists, pharmacists and other highly-skilled practitioners, in order to deliver an extra 50 million appointments a year.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “This is fantastic news for the NHS: for the third year running GP trainee recruitment is breaking records.

“We’re now well on our way to beating our annual target, showing there is growing interest in this fantastic career.

“These new trainees will ensure a pipeline of talent for the future and help us deliver an extra 50 million appointments a year for patients as well as 6,000 more doctors in general practice.”

As part of its efforts to boost the workforce, the government committed at least an additional £1.5bn in cash terms for general practice over the next four years. This is in addition to the £4.5bn real terms annual increase announced for primary and community care in the NHS Long Term Plan by 2023-2024.

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