Medicopolitical Digest

GP trainee numbers continue to declineGMC gives advice on recording patientsResearch assessment is having damaging effects

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: (Published 31 May 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:1628

GP trainee numbers continue to decline

The government intends to examine why fewer medical students are training as general practitioners as new figures show that the number of trainees fell by 21% between 1986 and 1996.

The minister for state, Alan Milburn, said that he was concerned to see these figures in Statistics for General Medical Practitioners in England: 1986-96 and that the government aimed to integrate medical workforce planning more closely across the primary and secondary sectors.

The total number of GPs rose by 9% form 26 529 to 28 937, but 14% now work part time. In 1996, 32% of GPs were women and over half of all trainees are now women. On average doctors had 8% fewer patients on their lists in 1996 than in 1986. In 1996 over 90% of doctors achieved each qualifying target for payments for preschool boosters (95%), childhood immunisation (94%), and cervical cytology (99%). Ninety seven per cent of GPs were providing full programmes for primary prevention of coronary health disease and stroke and 94% were offering diabetes and asthma chronic disease management programmes.

Although welcoming the government's acknowledgment of the recruitment crisis, one of the GPs' negotiators, Simon Fradd, pointed out that 5000 …

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