LMCs Issue Warning Over GP Training

LMCs have warned that GP training must be overhauled in order to prepare registrars to take on partnership roles.

Furthermore, there should be a focus on increasing the number of placements in general practice settings, according to comments made at the annual LMC conference.

Delegates also backed calls for GP training to be geared more towards preparing trainees to become GP partners and principals.

There was also a suggestion that GP training schemes should be extended to at least four years, with two years of this overall process being spent within general practice environments.

Meanwhile, the foundation programme should include mandatory time in general practice, according to comments made at the conference.

GPC policy lead Dr Gavin Ralston backed the policies, suggesting that it would be a sensible direction for general practice to take.

But there was also some disagreement on the appropriate approach for general practice.

For example, Cambridgeshire LMC’s Dr Rebecca Schofield spoke out against the proposed policies.

“GP registrars are entering at a really challenging time and also a time of change. I believe this should be valued. More GPs are making positive choices to work in salaried and locum roles to develop their skills and thrive in general practice. We need GPs to make a positive choice, not to be pushed,” Schofield suggested.

Elsewhere, the motion also asserted that incentives should be created in order to encourage practices to both accept and support foundation year one and two posts.

It was also suggested that the GPC should campaign towards seeing examination fees cut.

Proposing the motion to increase training time, Dr Tom Micklewright from the GPC GP trainee committee suggested that there is clear statistical evidence to support more time for students in general practice.

“Over 90% of patient contact happens through general practice – but some medical students spend as little as three weeks in general practice out of a five- to six-year medicine degree.”

And Micklewright also suggested that there is a strong correlation between time spent in training and the likelihood of graduates opting to work within the NHS system.

Dr Kate Baker from Bro Taf LMC was one doctor who spoke out strongly against the current policy, labelling the lack of time spent in general practice as ridiculous.

“If you had more exposure, then those that remain in hospital will understand us better – they’ll have been there, they’ll know what we’re doing. And those that are exposed to general practice would realise what a fabulous career it is.”

A further motion called for GP trainee portfolios and appraisal toolkits to be kept confidential and protected from use in litigation in the future, following a case last year where this happened against a paediatric trainee.


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