It is only longer term thinking which can address this problem. Rationing of places in Medical Schools has led to chronic undercapacity. Where there is a world market, which there is in the skills needed to be a doctor, and global undercapacity, labour will move to where it feels most appreciated, and where the shape of the job is better. The north south divide is not new… but it is now worse than ever.
GP trainee recruitment figures for 2015 reveal a clear north-south divide, with a third of posts vacant in parts of the Midlands and north of England after three rounds of applications while other areas filled all posts after a single round. Explore the data below with a series of graphs and an interactive map.
This year’s third GP trainee application phase saw 180 new doctors accepted to posts, bringing the total number for 2015 up to 2,769 – 89% of the 3,117 that were available.
But there is a noticeable divide between the north and south, with areas in the south tending to fill far more of their available posts than those further north. Click on the regions of our interactive map to show more detailed information.
Map: GP trainee vacancies
( The interactive map on the GP Magazine website excludes Scotland, Wales and N Ireland but they would be more like the North East. NHSreality includes 3 snapshots to show the numbers in the North compared to the West Midlands and the most popular SouthEast.)
The official recruitment figures, released by Health Education England (HEE) on Friday, show that the most sought-after locations filled the majority of their places within a single round of recruitment, leaving worst struck areas with two thirds of posts left empty.
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The figure below shows the proportion of posts filled in the first, second, then third recruitment rounds – followed by the amount enrolled in the preparation for specialty training scheme. Grey represents the number of training posts that remain unfilled.
GP recruitment waves 2015
Overall fill rate for GP trainee posts increased slightly from 87% to 89% this year, but analysis of the figures shows that the three regions with the lowest fill rates this year – West Midlands, East Midlands and the North East – all saw significant drops in the number of applications.
GP trainee recruitment 2015 vs 2014
Darker green – 2015 Paler green – 2014
Yorkshire and the Humberside saw the largest increase in fill rate this year, increasing by 16 percentage points. Fill rate in the West Midlands took the largest hit, falling by 17 percentage points.
GP trainee fill rate 2015 vs 2014