13 May 2024

Royal College of Physicians responds to the expansion of medical school places for 2025/26


Responding to the government’s announcement of funding for 350 additional medical school places, Dr Sarah Clarke, RCP president said:

"The RCP campaigned long and hard for an increase in medical school places, and despite the ongoing lack of detail about postgraduate training places, we still think the LTWP is an important first step towards a sustainably staffed NHS. It’s good to see that these additional medical school places will be targeted at areas where we don’t have enough doctors.

"But more medical students is only part of the answer. When they graduate, these students will need jobs. They will need teachers and supervisors and protected time to train. Yet almost a year after the publication of the Long Term Workforce Plan, we still don’t have the detail we need on how and where postgraduate training places will be increased, where the patient demand is, and how the NHS will train and supervise these new doctors.

"NHS England must engage more effectively with clinicians and royal colleges on how they will deliver the Long Term Workforce Plan. They should set out how and where they will expand postgraduate training places, and how and when they will improve the granularity of specialty workforce data to inform future staffing projections. NHSE must identify the barriers to publishing this granular data, and develop and fund a dedicated plan for specialty training based on population need.

"Our members are telling us they feel disillusioned and frustrated. To maintain the confidence of doctors in the LTWP, we need a more open, transparent approach to its implementation."