The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) is recommending that GP training programmes become four years long to accommodate for new NHS demands.

Structural reforms, due to be brought in by the coalition government, will see GPs more responsible in the day-to-day running of their own medical centre; including their management and financing, alongside traditional patient duties.

As a result of this, Healthcare-Today.co.uk confirmed the RCGP is submitting proposals to the to the Medical Education England (MEE) board, which would see GPs train for another 12 months. The move could therefore see more speciality training for GPs, who might embark on programmes such as leadership or management training courses

In a statement, a college spokesperson confirmed: "The structural changes that the NHS is undergoing will demand much more of your average GP in terms of clinical, managerial and leadership skills. More and more patients will be treated outside of hospital, in their homes and communities."

Onmedica.com notes that, at present, the UK's general practice training programme is already the shortest of 14 European countries and the shortest of all medical specialities. It is a programme which hasn't in fact changed very much in the last three decades.

The RCGP also recommended that minimum time spent in general practice placements should increase by a year to 24 months.

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