News that Health Education England (HEE) has recorded the highest ever number of GP trainee acceptances in NHS history will come as a huge boost to the health service as it continues to strive to overcome workforce shortages.
Newly-published figures showed the number of trainee GPs entering training having now increased year on year for the last seven years.
A total of 3,793 posts were accepted this year, significantly exceeding the mandated targets of 3,250.
The figures also represent a 40% increase on when HEE started its recruitment drive back in 2014, where it recorded 2,700 GP trainee acceptances.
Dr Navina Evans, Chief Executive, Heath Education England said: “I am delighted, it’s amazing news that HEE has once again exceeded its mandated target for GP specialty training recruitment. It is testament to the very hard work of HEE staff who have worked tirelessly to promote general practice as a rewarding career and I would personally like to thank everyone who has contributed to this brilliant success.
“The NHS Long Term Plan is very clear that patient care needs to be delivered closer to home wherever possible, and that’s why this news is so important, and why we have made this one of our key priorities.
“We will continue to work with partners across the NHS to redesign the way we deliver 21st century care to patients across the country.”
Professor Wendy Reid, Director of Education and Quality and National Medical Director, HEE, added: “This is fantastic news for the NHS and for patients. It reflects the considerable efforts of our staff to achieve this great success especially during such a challenging period for the NHS. I am so grateful to everyone who has played their part.
“The challenge now is to continue to up our efforts to increase recruits as we move to our new target of recruiting 4,000 trainees, working through training hubs to deliver more GPs and reforming GP Specialty training to make sure it can meet the needs of patients and maintains it popularity.”