HOSPITAL-based specialty training posts in England should be cut to allow an increase in GP training, according to the Centre for Workforce Intelligence.
They recommend that the number of GP training posts should be increased by 450 over the next four years while the number of hospital posts should be cut by 167. More GP trainees are needed, the centre says, “to maintain the growth in the general practitioner workforce at historical levels” and to support the shift from secondary to primary care in the health service.
The centre, a national authority on NHS and social care workforce planning, has set out its medium term recommendations for medical training numbers over the next two to four years in its report Shape of the Medical Workforce: Informing Medical Specialty Training Numbers.
Hospital surgery is the focus for many of the proposed reductions with recommended cuts of 35 in general surgery, 30 in trauma and orthopaedic surgery, 12 in otorhinolaryngology, and three in neurosurgery. Other areas recommended for cuts include anaesthetics (a cut of 16), obstetrics and gynaecology (40), and renal medicine (25).
There are recommendations for small increases in some national training posts in specialties such as allergy (two), cardiothoracic surgery (11), community sexual and reproductive health (five), dermatology (six) and geriatric medicine (15).
Many of the post reductions are expected to take effect in London while the East Midlands and the South East Coast regions will benefit from many of the increases.
The centre’s recommendations are now being considered by the Department of Health and Medical Education England. A plan will then be drawn up to implement the agreed recommendations in each region of England.