'GP recruitment figures 'excellent' but we mustn't take our eye off the ball on building the workforce, says College'

Publication date: 20 July 2020

Responding to figures released by Health Education England (HEE) today Professor Martin Marshall, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: "These figures show that GP trainee numbers have risen by 15% compared to last year, putting the government on track to meet its goal of 3,500 trainee GPs entering the profession in 2020. This is excellent news and an important step in addressing the general practice workforce crisis.

"We’re also pleased to hear that the government remains committed to delivering the 6,000 more GPs promised by Boris Johnson on his first day as prime minister. Now is certainly not the time to take our eye off the ball when it comes to GP recruitment. Many aspiring doctors will have watched with admiration as GPs and colleagues across the NHS went above and beyond throughout the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic - it’s vital to engage with those students to highlight general practice as a viable career option, and it looks like such initiatives have been successful.
"In fact, throughout the COVID outbreak the College has remained committed to engaging with students and foundation year doctors using various initiatives including, GP Observe - a free, virtual, interactive alternative to general practice work experience. We hope that initiatives such as this, complementing the work of Health Education England and NHS England, will prove useful in boosting recruitment at a time when we’re all working differently due to COVID-19.
"As we look post-COVID, building the general practice workforce must remain a priority for the government. But it isn’t just about recruitment, we also need to keep our more experienced GPs in the profession at a time when they are facing intense resource and workforce pressures. To put it simply, any recruitment efforts will be in vain if we are not retaining the workforce as well. We look to the forthcoming NHS People Plan for comprehensive details as to how this will be done."


Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7494/7633/7574/7575
Out of hours: 020 3188 7659

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 53,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.

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