Additional Funding Secured For Clinical Academic Training Programme

Additional funding of £385,000 to expand the Clinical Academic Training Programme has been announced by Health Minister Robin Swann.

This funding will also facilitate a short-term increase in the General Practice Academic Research Training Scheme (GPARTS) in addition to supporting a clinical academic training pathway for General Practitioners who have achieved a Certificate of Completion Training (CCT).

Commenting on the funding, the Health Minister said: "I am delighted to be able to commit further investment to strengthen Northern Ireland's medical academic training capabilities. In spite of mounting financial pressures, it is right that we continue to invest in the medical academic leaders of tomorrow.

"This extra funding will support an increased number of clinical academic training pathways and most particularly, the permanent expansion of clinical academic training by 50%."

Dr Laurence Dorman, Chair of RCGPNI, added: "This is fantastic news. As the professional academic body representing more than 1400 GPs across Northern Ireland, we warmly welcome this financial support for clinical academic training pathways in general practice. This investment will create additional research posts and will greatly enhance the contribution of general practice to research and development, which will benefit patient care right across our entire health service. It will also give a welcome boost to academic general practice as a viable career choice and encourage more talented, young doctors into general practice in Northern Ireland."

The Department of Health currently funds 8 training posts within the Clinical Academic Training Programme.  This will increase by 50% (a further 4 posts) for the August 2021 intake.

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