Understanding the challenges of GP services and Primary Care is vital for your Medical School interview
, because you may be asked about this. This guide highlights everything you need to know about this hot topic
– including some example interview questions
you could be asked.
GP And Primary Care Issues
Some of the most important issues associated with GP services and Primary Care are:
- GP shortages. A 2018 survey found that 15.3% of GP posts were vacant.
- Increasing demand. As life expectancies rise and the population ages, demand on GPs is increasing. According to the Nuffield Trust, the UK needs 3,4000 new GPs to keep up with population growth.
- Recruitment issues. In 2015, the government pledged to hire 5,000 new GPs by 2020 – however the former Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, revealed in 2019 that this target would not be met. Despite this, in 2019, a total of 3,538 GP training places were accepted (the highest in the history of the NHS).
Solutions For GP Services And Primary Care
One of the biggest solutions is to hire more GPs, but it isn’t that simple. Medical students are being encouraged to consider this career path in a few ways:
- Medical Schools are trying to correct misconceptions about general practice and encouraging more students to think about the role.
- The NHS has a £10m scheme to incentivise Foundation Year doctors to become GPs.
- As of 2017, there is a scheme in which newly qualified GPs can receive a ‘golden hello’ one-off payment of £20,000 if they start their careers in certain areas that need more GPs (in particular rural and coastal areas). Since the introduction of this, the number of trainee GPs taking up posts in these hard-to-recruit areas has doubled.
- International recruitment is a short-term solution. However, the NHS in England failed to reach their target of recruiting 2,000 overseas doctors by 2020 – the international GP recruitment programme had brought in just a fraction of this number (around 150).
A new five-year contract for general practice was announced by NHS England, which included an extra £4.5 billion investment by 2023/4. More solutions include:
Interview Questions About GPs And Primary Care
You could be asked about this topic at interview, with questions like:
- What consequences does the increased demand on GP services have on the NHS?
- Can you give me some reasons behind the increased pressure on Primary Care services?
- Can you tell me about some recent Primary Care policies and technologies introduced to reduce strain on GP practices?
You can learn how to answer these in our free Interview Question Bank which has over 100 questions and answer guides.