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  • 1 April 2017 to 30 June 2018
  • Project No: 354
  • Funding round: FR 13

What supports successful transition from trainee to GP?

An alarming shortage of GPs is currently affecting many areas of the UK. Since GPs provide around 90% of NHS consultations and lead community-based medical care, a deficit in their numbers has serious implications; for patients who struggle to obtain timely appointments and for doctors who struggle to deliver high quality care when time and other resources are limited.

Our current research suggests that many young doctors consider or intend to leave the UK after 2 years of postgraduate training. A study of doctors undertaking GP training, suggested that many of these doctors also intend to leave the UK once they are fully trained.

A slight increase in GP training recruitment occurred in 2016 after initiatives to encourage junior doctors to choose general practice. However, it seems clear that working in the NHS is not necessarily seen as an attractive career choice for young doctors. This means that the current shortage of GPs cannot be easily resolved by only increasing recruitment and training – there must also be sufficient incentives for these newly trained GPs to enter and settle into UK GP posts.

This study will explore the aspirations and concerns that doctors have about their future careers. We will do this by carrying out individual and group (focus group) interviews with doctors in the later stages of their GP training and others who have recently started work as GPs. Topics covered will include; their experiences of GP work, dealing with pressure or uncertainty, achieving work-life balance, their feelings about working with colleagues, and their aspirations for their long-term careers.

Our links with bodies responsible for GP training and employment (e.g. NHS England, Royal College of General Practitioners), we will allow us to share findings as information on which to base more effective strategies to retain these newly qualified GPs.

Amount awarded: £72,862

Projects by themes

We have grouped projects under the five SPCR themes in this document

Evidence synthesis working group

The collaboration will be conducting 18 high impact systematic reviews, under four workstreams.