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  • ‘e-Traffic light’ GP referral system indicates expected time to hospital appointment

    ‘e-Traffic light’ GP referral system indicates expected time to hospital appointment

    Monday, 23 April 2018 17:07
  • Fifth of patients in Wales finding it ‘very difficult’ to make a convenient GP appointment

    Fifth of patients in Wales finding it ‘very difficult’ to make a convenient GP appointment

    Tuesday, 17 April 2018 08:58
  • MPs say NHS Digital is failing to uphold patient confidentiality

    MPs say NHS Digital is failing to uphold patient confidentiality

    Monday, 16 April 2018 14:13
  • GMC expecting 5,000 overseas doctors to sit language exam this year

    GMC expecting 5,000 overseas doctors to sit language exam this year

    Monday, 16 April 2018 09:26
  • CQC: online GP services are improving, ‘but some concerns remain’

    CQC: online GP services are improving, ‘but some concerns remain’

    Thursday, 29 March 2018 11:38

a international flags image cbAugust 24 2017

NHS England has announced plans to increase the number of GPs recruited overseas. Rather than aiming for the initial target of 500 doctors by 2020-21, “it will start to recruit around 600 overseas doctors into general practice in 2017-18 and aim for a total of at least 2,000 doctors over the next three years.”

 The announcement follows a series of regional pilots, and will involve working with partner agencies. NHS England is calling on recruitment firms to join a framework to support the programme, with the publication of a tender on the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU). It is also setting up a GP International Recruitment Office.

“The expanded international recruitment scheme will initially focus on doctors in the European Economic Area, whose GP training is recognised in the UK under European law and already get automatic recognition to join the GMC’s GP Register,” it said.

“The RCGP, working with the General Medical Council, will now review the curriculum, training and assessment processes for GPs trained outside the EEA, beginning with Australia, to identify whether we can streamline the GP registration process for those doctors whose training is seen as equivalent to the UK GP programme.”

The regional pilot in Lincolnshire is considered the most advanced scheme, having recruited 26 GPs against a target of 25, while Essex and Cumbria are also currently underway. NHS England is now working with a further 11 areas to expand the programme across the country.

The RCGP has given a guarded welcome to the announcement. RCGP Chair Prof Helen Stokes-Lampard said: “Workload in general practice is escalating – it has risen 16% over the last seven years – yet investment in our service has declined and we are desperately short of GPs and nurses. It is imperative that we do everything possible to address this, including recruiting more GPs, retaining existing ones, and making it easier for trained GPs to return to practice after a career break.

“We welcome any GP from the EU or further afield who wants to work in UK general practice – as long as they meet the rigorous standards set by the College and General Medical Council to ensure safe clinical practice – to contribute to delivering care to over one million patients every day. Indeed, thousands of GPs from overseas already work alongside UK GPs, and we are incredibly grateful for their skills and expertise.”

Dr Richard Vautrey, BMA GP committee chair, added: “Plans to recruit more doctors from overseas may help to provide much needed GPs in the short term. These professionals have a strong track record of providing first rate care to patients in the NHS over many decades.

“However, more needs to be done by the government to create a sustainable, long term basis on which to remedy the huge workforce problems threatening to overwhelm GP services across the country.”

Links:
NHS England announcement       
NHS England International GP Recruitment Programme 
RCGP comment                  
BMA comment  

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