New data released by Health Education England (HEE) show there were 3,441 GP specialty training places were accepted in 2020, compared to 2,891 a year ago.

With one more recruitment round to go, HEE is now on track to beat its target for recruiting 3,500 doctors in training to general practice this year, the government noted.

NHS England and HEE are working together with the profession to increase the general practice workforce in England, with measures in place to boost recruitment, address why doctors are leaving the profession, and encourage a return to practice, backed by a government investment of at least an additional £1.5 billion in cash terms over the next four years.

The aim is to expand the workforce by 6,000 more doctors, as well as thousands more physiotherapists, pharmacists and other highly skilled practitioners, to deliver an extra 50 million appointments a year.

“This is fantastic news for the NHS: for the third year running GP trainee recruitment is breaking records.We’re now well on our way to beating our annual target, showing there is growing interest in this fantastic career,” said health and social care secretary Matt Hancock.

“These new trainees will ensure a pipeline of talent for the future and help us deliver an extra 50 million appointments a year for patients as well as 6,000 more doctors in general practice.”