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  • 1 April 2018 to 30 June 2019
  • Project No: 398
  • Funding round: FR 15

Many UK areas are experiencing a shortage of GPs. The shortage presents serious issues both for patients, who may not be able to get timely access to primary care, and GPs who may struggle to deliver high quality care when time and other resources are limited.

The government has set a target to ‘train and retain’ an additional 5,000 GPs by 2020. A range of strategies have been proposed and implemented, including an overseas recruitment drive, financial incentives, and an increased number of training places. However, if current trends in training persist, the number of additional GPs is likely to fall short of this target (Kaffash and Matthews-King, 2016).

Although several studies have shown how many new doctors intend to train as GPs, little is currently known about their career intentions as they complete their GP training programme. Once they have completed training, they face an important decision point where a number of options are open to them. Their qualifications allow them to travel overseas, or to work in the UK in temporary or longer-term GP posts. They may choose to work for limited hours or only in preferred locations. Their choices affect the availability of GPs and therefore knowledge about their plans is essential when estimating how many future GPs will be needed.

This study, in partnership with Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), will explore the career intentions and training experiences of newly qualified GPs. We will do this through a survey of newly qualified GPs, who will be asked to complete an online questionnaire. The questionnaire will be distributed by RCGP to all newly qualified GPs.  We will ask questions related to what they intend to do in their future career and how successful they felt their training was in preparing them to work independently.

Amount awarded: £48,937

Theme: Organisation and delivery of care.