GP Trainees – What Does The Future Hold?

The NHS faces tough times, so what does the future hold for GP trainees? A survey conducted by the King’s Fund has found that the majority of GP trainees do not intend to work full time in clinical practice as a result of “intense” pressures, despite the Government’s Forward View initiative.

Most GP trainees will work part-time when they have qualified

The survey follows on from the 2016 King’s Fund report, which stated that 10% of trainees planned to practise full time 10 years after they completed their training.

This year’s findings show that only 22% of respondents plan to work in full-time clinical general practice one year after qualifying, compared with the 46.9% who aim to work part-time. 7.4% of trainees reported that they would work in clinical practice five years after they have qualified.

Is GP workload to blame?

So, why are GP trainees reluctant to work full time? The majority of trainees stated it was the”intensity of the working day”that made them want to work part-time or less, say the findings. Half the respondents from the King’s Fund survey also said they would undertake other clinical NHS work alongside their general practice commitments.

GP trainees: an uncertain future?

The results of the King’s Fund survey came after the Government launched a review of the Partnership Model to look at reducing premises liabilities while finding ways to lighten GP workloads. However, the Partnership Model has received some criticism from many GP leaders, with some saying it should be “phased out” in favour of a different model. Now, only 37% of GP trainees said they plan to take up partnerships after they have qualified.

Flexibility appeals to GP trainees

Other GP leaders state that the findings are not necessarily a result of NHS staffing issues, and that it is the flexibility of the professional that appeals to GP trainees, hence their willingness to embrace part-time working and supplement with other specialties. Others have argued that despite the funding, recruitment of GP trainees is at an all-time high. HEE reports record numbers of GP trainees recruited so far since the Forward View initiative, with health bosses expected to reach their target of 3,250 to start training this year.

What is the solution?

Are you a GP trainee thinking about your first role in general practice? If so, you might be concerned about working full-time, given current the pressures on the NHS. One alternative path to consider is a role with an out-of-hours services provider, where you’ll have better control over your workload.

There are many benefits of working out of hours for newly qualified GPs at EBPC, including a more flexible schedule, a lighter workload and a focus on triage services. To apply to become a GP with EBPC, visit our jobs page or call us on 03000 243 333.