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What is the background to this post?
General practitioner (GP) trainees undertake a 3-year training scheme. These have traditionally included defined periods of time spent in hospital jobs, with a general practice post at the end of training.
Changes in the way GP training was funded in 2000 paved the way for the creation of ‘innovative training posts’, which permit trainees to combine general practice with other areas of medicine.1
The Cambridge GP training scheme offers several community-based innovative training posts with options including musculoskeletal medicine, community psychiatry, geriatrics and paediatrics. The creation of innovative training posts was in part a response to the wider political climate, with focus on care being shifted away from secondary care to primary care, including initiatives such as the Department of Health's ‘Care Closer to Home’ project.2
A significant proportion of GP consultations involve sexual and reproductive healthcare (SRH), with one study finding that more than 13% of consultations with female GPs involving female genital problems, and almost 7% involving contraception or pregnancy.3
The recent White Paper that proposes fundamental reform of the way health care is delivered, involving GP consortia commissioning services,4 is likely to further transfer the delivery of health care from secondary to primary care. There is arguably a more pressing need for provision of good SRH in primary care than ever before. The innovative GP training post offers the potential to equip trainees with the necessary skills to function as practice leads in sSRH, or even as GPs with special interests (GPwSIs).
How was it set up?
The three medical trainers [LG, PB and CC] discussed the idea of an innovative training post. Following this discussion, one of them [CC] wrote a job specification and approval was sought from the Postgraduate Medical Education Training Board (PMETB). GP training programme directors and trainers on the Cambridge scheme were canvassed …