Medical Education England, the body responsible for medical education, training and workforce planning in England, has given its support to a proposal to extend GP training from three to four years.
The proposals was originally submitted by the Royal College of General Practitioners in 2011 and argued that the increased demands from the growth in community care required a more thorough and extensive training programme.
At three years the UK currently has the shortest general practice training programme in Europe and one of the shortest of all medical specialities.
“We recognise that the current system of training for GPs has been in place for 30 years and needs to change to adapt to future challenges,” said Christine Outram, Managing Director of MEE.
“These particularly include the need to meet the demands of an ageing population receiving an increasing proportion of care close to home and improvements to GP training in relation to the care of children and young people and those with mental health problems.”
The RCGP is also recommending that the minimum time spent in general practice training placements be extended from 12 to 24 months which would bring the total time in training to ﬁve years for most GP trainees. Plans will now be presented to the Department of Health for approval.