HC Deb 17 September 2003 vol 410 cc842-3W
Mrs. Helen Clark

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make it his policy to increase the training available to GPs in the treatment of drug dependency. [129142]

Mr. Hutton

The Government do not specify the content of the General Practitioner training curriculum. This is the job of the Joint Committee on Postgraduate Training for General Practice (JCPTGP), which is the competent authority for general practice training in the United Kingdom. The JCPTGP is an independent professional body, and it is required by section 9(3) of the Vocational Training Regulations 1997 to determine and publish the curriculum to be followed by a GP registrar (for example a trainee GP).

The Regulations do specify seven competencies which must be tested, and which the curriculum must therefore teach: factual medical knowledge sufficient to enable the doctor to perform the duties of a GP; the ability to apply factual medical knowledge to the management of problems presented by patients in general practice; effective communication, both orally and in writing: the ability to consult satisfactorily with general practice patients; the ability to review and critically analyse the practitioner's own working practices and to manage any necessary changes appropriately; clinical skills; and the ability to synthesise all the above competencies and apply them appropriately in a general practice setting.

GPs are expected therefore to be trained in the skills needed to deal with all their patients.