Ophthalmology: Training

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered at on 27 March 2024.

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Photo of Marsha de Cordova Marsha de Cordova Labour, Battersea

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many new training places there will be for ophthalmologists as part of the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan.

Photo of Andrea Leadsom Andrea Leadsom The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

As part of the historic expansion of medical school places set out in the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan, we will ensure that there is adequate growth in foundation placement capacity, as those taking up these new places begin to graduate, and a commensurate increase in specialty training places is required. A decision regarding which specialities these places will be allocated to will be made nearer the time that the places are required for the expanded workforce. NHS England will work with stakeholders to ensure this growth is sustainable and focused in the service areas where need is greatest.

In 2023, the General Medical Council reported that there are 592 doctors in ophthalmology specialty training across England, which is 34, or 6.1%, more than in 2019. As of November 2023, there are 3,058 full-time equivalent (FTE) doctors working in the specialty of ophthalmology in National Health Service trusts and other core organisations in England. This is 214, or 7.5%, more than in 2019. This includes 1,465 FTE consultants, which is 125, or 9.4%, more than in 2019.

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