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Record number of 4,000 GPs accepted on training placements

16 November 2021

A record number of new trainees have accepted placements to become GPs, new figures published by Health Education England reveal.  

More than 4,000 new recruits have accepted places to begin specialist general practice training in 2021/ 22.

Health Education England has now hit the government’s target increased GP Specialty trainee recruitment every year since 2015 and hit or exceeded the Government target for four years1.

Health Education England is responsible for providing training places for GP specialty training recruits and managing the specialist training process.

Through the Choose GP campaign Health Education England is recruiting foundation year doctors as well as locally employed/ trust grade doctors and consultants who want to retrain as a GP.

Figures from NHS Digital show there are 8,664 GPs in training grade in GP placements across England as of September 2021.

Professor Simon Gregory DL, Deputy Medical Director, Primary and Integrated Care at Health Education England, said: “It has been a challenging 18 months for the profession across the board. As a GP myself it is heart-warming to see so many trainees wanting to become family doctors.

“The fact that so many people are interested in joining general practice speciality training means we are doing all we can to help provide a sufficient and sustainable workforce.”

Professor Wendy Reid, Director of Education and Quality and National Medical Director at Health Education England, said: “We are pleased that we have managed to hit the new target of recruiting 4,000 new GPs.

“We are committed at Health Education England to promoting a career as a GP for trainee doctors approaching the end of their foundation training.

“Recent GP workforce figures show that trainees are a valuable part of the primary care workforce. On a daily basis they see and treat patients and provide a great service across the country.”



Notes to editors

1. Previous year recruitment totals are as follows:

2014      2,671

2015      2,769

2016      3,019

2017      3,157    3,250 target

2018      3,473    3,250 target

2019      3,540    3,500 target

2020      3,793    3,500 target

2021      4,000    4,000 target