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Highest ever GP trainee acceptances announced in yet another record-breaking year for Health Education England

24 October 2019

Figures released by Health Education England (HEE) today show the highest ever number of GP training places accepted in NHS history.

3538 trainees have accepted, beating the annual target of 3,250 for the second year in succession.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said:

“Our NHS would be nothing without the GPs who deliver crucial frontline care to patients every day, so I am delighted to welcome the highest ever number of GP trainees into the NHS family.

“GPs are the bedrock of our communities, so we’re backing primary and community care with an extra £4.5 billion by 2023/24. To help more doctors begin rewarding careers in the NHS we are creating 1,500 undergraduate medical school places and working on securing the future workforce through the NHS People Plan.”

Professor Ian Cumming, Chief Executive, Heath Education England said:

“This is very welcome news and I would like to thank all those involved for their efforts in making this possible. We have done a great deal of work to promote general practice as a rewarding career, and this increase in acceptances demonstrates the work is paying off.

“The NHS Long Term Plan is very clear that patient care needs to be delivered closer to home wherever possible, and that’s why this expansion is so important, and why we have made this one of our key priorities. We will continue to work with NHS England and Improvement - and partners across the NHS - as we move forward with the next phase of the NHS People Plan. We’re committed to creating new roles, such as Nursing Associates and Physician Associates, as well as expanding existing training routes, and redesigning the way we deliver 21st century care to patients across the country.”

Professor Wendy Reid, Director of Education and Quality and National Medical Director, HEE, said:

“This is fantastic news for the NHS and for patients. It is a real testament to the hard work of HEE staff in promoting General Practice that has led to the continued increase in the numbers accepting GP training places.

“We have thousands more doctors in the system thanks to initiatives such as our general practice marketing campaign to help raise the awareness of general practice as a career of choice and its unique selling points as a specialty."

"Our work with partners including the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) around raising the profile and attractiveness of general practice as a career is helping to boost the number of trainees who want to join this key specialty."

Prof Simon Gregory DL, Deputy Medical Director, Primary and Integrated Care

Health Education England said:

“This news shows that we are meeting the challenge of making General practice an attractive career choice and I am delighted to see the numbers accepted continuing to rise.

“As a GP myself I am delighted to see that more people are seeing the benefits of the role. Attracting more people to the profession means we have GPs providing much needed care to patients in areas where we need them most.”