One GP produced for every three graduates trained

More work needs to be done to attract more GPs to stay in the profession as only one for every three full-time equivalent trained GPs stay in the job.

That is the view of NHS England medical director for primary care Dr Nikita Kanani, who told a Pulse Live event in March that the figures were causing ongoing concern.

Although Health Secretary Matt Hancock recently revealed that the health sector had recruited almost 3,500 GP trainees, thus exceeding the 3,250 target for the first time, Pulse has now revealed that more GPs than ever are working part time, which may be having an effect on the number of trainees coming through the system.

Kanani said that simply increasing the number of trainees may not be enough to increase GP numbers. In fact, of the 2,670 doctors who started their GP specialist training in 2014, only 65 per cent became full-time equivalent starters.

She said: “We’ve now got five generations working in the NHS, so what generation one wants starting their working life is different to what generation five wants. When I go around the country speaking to trainees and  medical students, many say they weren’t encouraged to join general practice.

“It’s not been a career aspiration for a decade and we’re losing GPs dramatically. We’re training three whole-time equivalent GPs but we have one who stays as a whole-time equivalent GP. We have to change that, we have to make the day job better and we have to make it more attractive.”

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