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Tuesday, 18 September, 2001, 16:07 GMT 17:07 UK
22m for GP training
GPs complain that paperwork is putting them under pressure
Doctors moving into general practice will get extra training under a multi-million pound government initiative.

The scheme was devised following complaints from newly-qualfied GPs that they often felt they had been "thrown in at the deep end" and did not have all the skills they needed.

Postgraduate deans, who oversee GP training, are to be given 13m over the next two years.

This will translate into an extra 20 days professional training for newly-qualified GPs in their first year in the job.

In addition, standard GP training itself is to be given a 9m boost.

Health minister John Hutton said: "GPs have frequently drawn attention to the fact that, fresh from training, they are often expected to work independently and they sometimes feel ill-prepared for the sudden increased responsibility.

"People know, trust and respect their GP and practice staff and want to see them properly supported and well-resourced."

Recruiting drive

The government is trying to attract more recruits from general medicine into general practice, where there are a large number of vacancies.

Mr Hutton said that the 9m would help create practices capable of training GPs in areas of the country where the shortages were most acute.

These are often areas in which deprivation adds to the health problems faced by the local population.

The British Medical Association says that general practice has become less attractive as a career alternative partly because existing GPs feel overworked and burdened by large amounts of paperwork and red tape.

Surveys suggest that a large number of older GPs are preparing to leave the profession prior to their official retirement age, which will exacerbate the problem.

The government has even offered "golden hellos" to doctors who become GPs, with a newly-qualified GP starting work in a deprived area getting as much as 10,000.

See also:

13 Mar 01 | Health
Cash boost to recruit new GPs
28 Jan 01 | Health
GP shortage 'time bomb'
19 Dec 00 | Health
'Thousands more GPs needed'
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