From education to employment

More doctors joining the NHS as nearly 900 more specialty training posts announced by HEE

Nearly 900 additional medical specialty training posts have been created for this year, Health Education England (HEE) can announce today – including more than 500 in the key areas of mental health and cancer treatment. 

The total of 876 posts – which start from August – includes 273 in Psychiatry and 270 in cancer related specialties and will provide an increased supply of doctors when demand is higher than ever.

It comes after a year of recruitment milestones with 11,207 doctors accepting training programmes starting from August 2022 – the fifth consecutive year the record has been broken.

This includes more than 4,000 new trainees this year accepting placements to become a GP. As the organisation responsible for managing the specialty training process and providing places, HEE hit the Government’s target for GP specialty trainee recruitment for the fifth year running.

Many of the 876 additional posts will be specifically targeted to tackle health inequalities and ensure training places are distributed fairly to best meet patients’ needs in all parts of England.

Postgraduate medical training posts have previously been distributed across England based on historical arrangements – meaning they were sometimes not aligned with patient needs and did not provide the level of service required by local populations, particularly remote, rural and coastal areas.

Professor Wendy Reid, HEE Director of Education and Quality and Executive Medical Director said:

“The announcement of additional training posts is excellent news. Training more doctors is positive for patients and demonstrates our commitment to building a sustainable workforce at a crucial time for the NHS.

“It follows a year where we have continued to hit recruitment targets and attract more people to pursue a career in the NHS. We have seen that the number of doctors keen to join the NHS continues to rise, so it is important that we are able to reflect this with growth in our specialty training programmes.”

Minister for Health, Will Quince, said:

“I’m focused on growing the workforce and these extra training places will boost the number of specialist consultants in the areas most in need, such as cancer and mental health, levelling up healthcare across England.

“An additional 900 training posts will ensure we tackle health disparities across the UK which are preventing people from reaching their full potential and, on top of record numbers of doctors, nurses and staff working in the NHS, we are building a stronger, healthier NHS for the long-term to give people the security of knowing that it will be there for them when they need it.”

NHS Medical Director, Professor Sir Stephen Powis, said: 

“These new roles are an investment by NHS England in our fantastic workforce and are part of plans to have a more sustainable workforce supply, which can better support frontline teams in delivering world-leading care for patients.

“Our staff are at the heart of what makes the NHS so special to so many people and I’d encourage anyone interested in joining us – in whatever role – to search ‘health careers’ today to see what difference you could make to the millions who use our services each and every day.”

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