College responds to Health Education England's report on GP speciality training

Health Education England has made proposals in its report Training for the Future - Enhancing Delivery of GP Speciality Training. Professor Kamila Hawthorne, Chair of the Royal College of GPs said the following in response.

"It’s important that specialty GP training evolves to reflect both changes in healthcare and society. As such, we are pleased to see the focus in this report on continuing to support GPs to become experts in delivering holistic care and recognising their individual training needs, while preparing them for the priorities of modern practice, particularly tackling local health needs and delivering high quality, complex care in growing areas of need. Among these are mental health, new technology applied to primary care, and health inequalities.

"What this report does highlight is the ever-growing breadth of general practice. It’s key that as new elements are incorporated into GP, more established but still relevant and important ones are not overlooked. It adds weight to the College’s long-standing calls to extend GP training to four or five years (in line with the Health and Social Care Select Committee recommendations) to reflect what is required to practise independently in the UK. It’s also why the College would like to see an expansion of early career fellowships, to support newly qualified GPs with elements of practice that may not be comprehensively covered in current training.

“Ultimately, the sustainability of general practice will require more GPs, with more training, spending more time with patients. We have more GPs in training than ever before, and hopefully this trend will continue. But this needs to be matched with more investment in training capacity and infrastructure for practices. We also need to concentrate more on retaining our GPs, who are currently leaving the profession faster than they are entering it due to ever increasing workloads.”

Further information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7633

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 54,000 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.