GMC chief: Help more doctors work in general practice

21st October 2022 by NASGP

GMC chief: Help more doctors work in general practice

The chief executive of the General Medical Council has called on the Government to cut ‘red tape’ and get more doctors in non-training roles into GP settings, The Guardian reports.

According to the GMC’s report, ‘The state of medical education and practice in the UK’, the number of skilled doctors in non-training roles is growing at six times the rate of GPs.

At the publication of the report on Tues 18 October, Charlie Massey, head of the GMC, said: “At a time when patients face unprecedented waits for care, now is the time to discard dated ideas and to tap into the skills and experience these doctors provide.”

The report focuses on specialty and associate specialist (SAS) doctors. But the same report also notes that although the number of SAS and locally-employed doctors is growing, on average this group leaves the workforce after a shorter period of service than any other group, with many having joined on fixed-term arrangements. Over half (53%) of those who began work as a SAS or LE doctor in 2013 had left by 2021, compared to 9% for GPs.

Dr Richard Fieldhouse, chair of NASGP, said: “These suggestions from the GMC are obviously well intentioned, but as well as entirely undermining GP training and everyone who is a qualified GP, this proposed solution would only ever at best paper over the gaping cracks in the GP workforce.

“And somewhat chillingly, there seems to be an equally gaping knowledge gap in the GMC’s understanding of what GPs do if it’s suggesting hospital doctors can replace missing GPs.

“Instead, we should be focusing more effort on helping existing GPs to do their job without distractions like extended access, online record access and all the visa hurdles facing international medical graduates.”

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