Dermatology: General Practitioners

Health written question – answered on 8th May 2014.

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Photo of Mary Glindon Mary Glindon Labour, North Tyneside

To ask the Secretary of State for Health

(1) what discussions his Department has had with (a) Health Education England and (b) the Royal College of GPs on compulsory dermatological training for GPs since 4 December 2013;

(2) what recent steps his Department has taken to address the lack of compulsory dermatological training in the GP educational pathway.

Photo of Daniel Poulter Daniel Poulter The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The Government have mandated Health Education England (HEE) to provide national leadership on education, training and workforce development in the national health service. This mandate includes a commitment that HEE will ensure that general practitioner (GP) training produces GPs with the required competencies to practise in the new NHS. Consequently HEE will work with stakeholders to influence training curricula as appropriate.

The content and standard of medical training is the responsibility of the General Medical Council, which is an independent statutory body. It has the general function of promoting high standards of education and co-ordinating all stages of education to ensure that medical students and newly qualified doctors are equipped with the knowledge, skills and attitudes essential for professional practice. Within the current GP curriculum, trainees are required to successfully complete training on care of people with skin problems.

Responsibility for the commission of dermatology services sits with NHS England. NHS England commissions specialised dermatology services for those patients requiring care from highly specialist dermatology centres (around 10% of sufferers). The level of provision of non-specialised dermatology services is decided by the local clinical commissioning group (CCG) and it will take into account the needs of the population overall. The CCG’s decisions are underpinned by clinical insight and knowledge of local health care needs. As such, provision of services will vary in response to local needs.

The Department has not held any specific discussions on compulsory dermatological training for GPs with HEE or the Royal College of GPs (RCGP) since 4 December 2013, nor have HEE or NHS England held discussions with RCGP on this matter.

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