England is “on course” to fill all its GP training places this year, Health Education England said yesterday.
The latest specialty fill rates showed improvements in almost all specialties except paediatrics – which has seen a reduction in appointments for specialist training.
There was a small improvement in general practice recruitment with 65 more applicants being appointed than 12 months ago – a total of 2,598 applicants. Some 652 places remain to be filled.
Health Education England said this meant that GP training numbers were set to pass last year’s record. It said that it was “on course” to recruit the extra 652 trainees – and would create extra places if there were suitable applicants.
Its deputy medical director for primary care Professor Simon Gregory said: “After our record breaking year last year when we exceeded our target, we are delighted that trainees are continuing to apply for GP specialty training in such large numbers. It shows that our campaign to highlight general practice as a rewarding, sustainable, flexible career is having a great impact.
“ It great that so many doctors are choosing a career in general practice. Many of our educators are telling us that the calibre of applicants is also high which is great news. I would like to thank everyone who is working hard to promote GP specialty training.”
HEE director of education Professor Wendy Reid said: “I am really pleased that we are seeing good increases in fill rates across all medical specialties. In particular there has been good recruitment in general practice, emergency medicine, obstetrics and gynaecology and psychiatry.
“This is good news for the NHS and will support the delivery of high quality care to patients across the country. It is also a great start to our specialty recruitment programme this year and with more rounds to come we will be continuing to work hard to increase applications across all specialties.”