Headlines: February 11th, 2002

Eight schemes to provide primary care teaching are being launched to support career development and educational opportunities for GPs. The new Teaching Primary Care Trusts will help to boost the number of doctors in traditionally under-doctored areas, particularly deprived inner cities. As well as providing training, they will conduct research and work with other local health organisations and universities. A further 22 Teaching Primary Care Trusts will be set up in the next two years funded by a 25 million pounds budget.New doctors are being attracted to deprived inner city areas with a payment of 5000 pounds to ensure equal access to high quality primary care services regardless of whether patients live in an inner city estate or a country village.

Student numbers at medical schools across England have increased by around 900 and the expansion is placing exceptional demands on facilitiesand resources. Because numbers will continue to increase, students at Birmingham University, which has created an extra 100 places, are concerned that they may be unable to join ward rounds because there would be too many students crowding around the bed. They are also worried that they may need to travel further for clinical placements to hospitals which may have no previous experience of teaching.