Health - GPs (2) (Written)

Joan Ryan MP: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the findings in the February 2015 report by the Royal College of General Practitioners which projected GP shortages across England by 2020.

Ben Gummer MP: The Government’s mandate to Health Education England (HEE) requires it to ensure that a minimum of 3,250 trainees per year (equating to approximately half of the annual number of trainees completing foundation training and moving into specialisations) are recruited to general practitioner (GP) training programmes in England by 2016; bringing forward substantial numbers of new GPs through training is a key part of this.

HEE, NHS England, the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and, the BMA GP committee are working closely together to ensure that we have a skilled, trained and motivated workforce in general practice.

In January, a £10 million investment was announced to kick-start a new plan to expand the general practice workforce. The money will be used to recruit new GPs, retain those that are thinking of leaving the profession and encourage doctors to return to general practice to better meet the needs of patients now and for the future

HEE identified a need for a national Induction and Refresher Scheme which was launched in March 2015 and is administered through the GP National Recruitment Office. Candidates now have a standardised entry point to help speed up the time it takes to process individuals through the scheme and also making it easier for candidates to access relevant information.

HEE will ensure a minimum of 3,250 trainees per year (equating to approximately half of the annual number of trainees completing foundation training and moving into specialisations) are recruited to GP training programmes in England by 2016.

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